EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – An El Paso man, Facundo Chavez was sentenced to the death penalty in the Deputy Peter Herrera capital murder trial on Thursday, Aug. 10.
It’s the most recent death penalty sentencing in El Paso since 2014 but some inmates on death row were sentenced back in 1993.
Here’s a list of the El Paso inmates still on death row.
- Fidencio Valdez – sentenced in 2014
- Fabian Hernandez – sentenced in 2010
- Davis Irving – sentenced in 2002
- Rigoberto Avila Jr. – sentanced in 2001
- Tony Ford – sentanced in 1993
- David Leonard Wood – sentenced in 1993
Fabian Hernandez was convicted in 2010 of murdering his ex-wife and her friend in front of her home.
Fidencio Valdez was convicted in 2014 and he was sentenced for the murder of a teenager during a drug deal. Valdez was allegedly a Barrio Azteca member.
Davis Irving was convicted in 2002 of following 15-year-old Melissa Medina home from a party, taking her to an elementary school, and raping and murdering her.
Rigoberto Avila Jr. was convicted in 2001 of beating a child to death while he was babysitting him.
Tony Ford was convicted in 1993 of a home invasion robbery and murder.
Also sentenced in 1993 was David Leonard Wood who was convicted in the serial killings of six women.
In 2023 an inmate on death row, David Renteria’s execution was scheduled. Renteria was convicted in the kidnapping and murder of a 5-year-old Alexandra Flores from a Lower Valley Walmart in 2001.
El Paso Attorney Omar Carmona at Carmona Lozano Meza Law Firm spoke with KTSM about why the process for an execution date to be set takes years.
“We’re talking about the loss of life here; we’re talking about taking someone’s life away. And, you know, we’ve heard horror stories on how maybe innocent people were put to death. That’s why everything takes so long because everything is put under a microscope,” said Carmona.
Explaining the process that has to happen after a person is sentenced to the death penalty saying the first thing after someone is sentenced is an automatic appeal.
According to Carmona, it is then it is sent to and reviewed by the appellate courts that review the appeals.
“They have to review the entire record of the trial. They have to review the entire record of every hearing leading up to the trial. They are going to review the defense lawyers, the defense team basically review their strategy and their preparation and how they got ready for this case,” said Carmona.
It’s not just the defense under review, the prosecutor’s and judge’s rulings as well.
“The prosecutor’s conduct and how the prosecutor investigated the case, and the information and evidence that the prosecutor presented. All that goes under review. The judge’s rulings are all under review,” said Carmona.
On Thursday, August 10, Facundo Chavez was formally sentenced to the death penalty for killing Deputy Peter Herrera in 2019.
As we have reported, the Walmart shooter Patrick Crusius also faces the death penalty in the pending state trial for the murder of 23 people at the Cielo Vista Walmart on August 3, 2019.
Crusius pleaded guilty to 19 consecutive life sentences in a federal hearing in July 2023 but a date has not yet been set for the state trial.