Group to rally in Austin for Daniel Villegas

Group to rally in Austin for Daniel Villegas
Thursday, August 15, 2013 - 7:50am

Family and supporters of convicted killer Daniel Villegas are traveling to Austin Thursday to rally in front of the state capitol.

It was a year ago; a state district judge recommended a new trial for Villegas.

Judge Sam Medrano believed Villegas deserved a new trial because he said the confessions were coerced and unreliable.

Since then, Villegas and his supporters have been waiting for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to either affirm judge Medrano's ruling or deny it.

"Daniel’s still in prison. Still wondering what his fate is," said advocate John Mimbela. "They're desperate. They want their son back home. He wants to be back home and the uncertainty is what's killing them."

Villegas is serving a life sentence for shooting and killing Armando Lazo and Robert England in Northeast El Paso in 1993. He has always maintained his innocence. We talked to him in a jailhouse interview in 2011 and he was anxious for freedom.

"I can't think about going back to prison and going back through all that hell again. That prison life, it sucks you dry," said Villegas.

Mimbela organized Thursday's caravan to the state capital. That's where the group of about 40 people will rally to bring attention to the case.

"Our system's not perfect but to sit here and try to deny it or not do anything about it, is not helping things," said Mimbela.

He said they're hopeful the court will grant Villegas a retrial, but the wait has been difficult.

"It’s been very tough for Daniel. It continues to be very tough because he's just there waiting and his days drag and he just longs for the day to be home with his family and get this nightmare over with," said Mimbela.
There is no time limit for the Court of Criminal Appeals to rule on the case.

The group will rally in front of the Texas Capitol building Friday at noon.

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