EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Coercion or confession? That’s at the heart of a new two-hour special examining the case of Daniel Villegas that will air July 7 on Investigation Discovery.
Keith Morrison, most famous for his unforgettable voice-overs on Dateline, will host the two-hour special titled “A Fatal Confession: Keith Morrison Investigates.” Morrison became attached to the project after reporting on the Villegas case while he was out on bond awaiting re-trial after serving 17-years of a life sentence.
Back in 1993, Villegas was just 16-years-old when he signed a confession stating he was responsible for the drive-by shooting of a group of teens that resulted in the deaths of two of them, Bobby England and Armando Lazo.
He was interrogated by Detective Alfonso Marquez, and hours later, Marquez emerged with a signed confession from Daniel Villegas. But that same night, Villegas recanted the confession to a social worker. But at that point, it was too late. Though he had an alibi, the confession remained the centerpiece of Villegas’ trial, and he was sentenced to life in prison.
In October 2018, Villegas was tried again for the murder of the two teens after an appeals court ruled his confession had been coerced. After nearly two days of deliberation, the jury found Villegas not guilty and he was a free man for the first time in his adult life.
“At ID we have not only the opportunity – but, also, the mission – to share stories that otherwise might not be seen on a national platform,” says Henry Schleiff, Group President of Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, American Heroes Channel, and Destination America. “Keith Morrison is an acclaimed investigative journalist who has told countless stories throughout his broadcast career and, accordingly, we are thrilled to have partnered with him in his efforts to bring the attention this case so justly deserves.”
Morrison said of the project, “The Daniel Villegas story proves that a caring and determined outsider facing the longest of odds can ignite a community, work to restore a future once lost, and inspire love along the way.”
Keith Morrison sits down with the key players in this narrative, from family members and law enforcement to John Mimbela and Daniel Villegas himself. Using his years of experience as an investigative journalist, Morrison delivers a compelling and heart-wrenching story that raises probing questions about crime, punishment and American justice.
A Fatal Confession: Keith Morrison Investigates premieres on Sunday, July 7 at 8 p.m. MST on Investigation Discovery Channel.