POSTED: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - 5:26pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - 5:34pm
Daniel Villegas has been convicted of murder, a crime he says he didn't commit. Family and friends have put up billboards protesting his innocence, witnesses have changed their statements and now, somebody has even written a song.
"It just came out of me. Writing it and singing it," Martinez said.
It's called "El Corrido de Daniel Villegas." In the lyrics songwriter Ernesto Martinez claims Villegas is innocent.
"I sing it every time I have a chance to sing it. So people can listen to it and hear the real truth," Martinez said.
In 1993 when Villegas was 16 years-old, he confessed to shooting and killing two El Pasoans, but Villegas says a detective forced him into confessing the crime.
"After I started listening to people talking about the case. I just thought about making it into a song," Martinez said.
The song, a small act of kindness, brought Daniel's mother to tears.
"She was really impressed and she took off crying after listening to it and thanked me," Martinez said.
Daniel's brother-in-law, John Mimbela, is touched by his friend's gesture.
"It gives him a lot of hope because he says for the longest time nobody believed him. It's like why would you confess to something you didn't do," Mimbela said.
Now, with dozens of supporters and even a song, Daniel is finally smiling again.
"Anytime Daniel hears about anybody fighting for his cause, that really gets him excited and it really gives him hope," Mimbela said.
Daniel Villegas has one more shot at proving his innocence. His friends and family hope this song helps shed light on the truth.
"The system is not perfect and we just want the right thing done," Mimbela said.
Daniel's hearing will start up again on Tuesday and determine whether he is eligible for a new trial.