POSTED: Thursday, October 27, 2011 - 4:19pm
UPDATED: Thursday, October 27, 2011 - 4:22pm
EL PASO- Daniel Villegas, the El Pasoan convicted of a double murder in 1993, is still trying to convince a court that he deserves a new trial and that a detective bullied him into a false confession.
An El Pasoan who was wrongly convicted of murder, then later freed is now supporting Villegas.
"I was wrongfully accused, wrongfully convicted of a crime of a murder I didn't commit in Austin, Texas back in 1988," says Christopher Ochoa.
Christopher Ochoa spent 13 years of his life behind bars. He says after hours of interrogation and abuse, he said whatever the officer told him to say.
"He grabbed my arm and tapped my vein and said this is where the needle is going to go if you don't cooperate, and I’m going to make sure I’m there to watch you," says Ochoa.
Ochoa is a defense attorney now and says forced confessions happen all of the time. He believes Daniel Villegas deserves a new trial since speaking to John Mimbela, one of Villegas' main supporters. Villegas has been in jail for a drive by shooting in northeast El Paso, he was just 17-years-old when he confessed to the crime. Ochoa says everyone asks “why would anybody confess to something he didn't do?”
"When you're in an interrogation room, you're being accused of murder. They're accusing you of murder rightfully or not. Cops are threatening you with the death penalty," says Ochoa.
Ochoa says people from all over the country ask him for his help saying they too are wrongly accused or convicted. The Villegas case is the first one he publicly supports.
"It just touched my heart because I saw myself, that was me," says Ochoa.
Despite mistakes in our legal system, Ochoa still wants the public to have faith in the U.S. government.
"We may not have the most perfect system in the world, but it is the best system. So I chose to speak out on it," says Ochoa.
Daniel Villegas' is in the midst of fighting for a re-trial. His hearing starts again on November 10th. We'll continue to follow this story and give you the latest.