Texas death row inmate from Dominican Republic loses appeal

Texas state's highest criminal court ruled Wednesday in the case of 50-year-old Obel Cruz-Garcia. He was denied appeal. He does not have an execution date.

The case short:

Death penalty trial opens for Obel Cruz-Garcia, accused of abducting and killing 6-year-old Angelo Garcia in 1992 July 8, 2013 in Houston. More than 20 years ago, two armed men in ski masks forced their way into a south Houston apartment around midnight as the family inside slept. Angelo Garcia, Jr., an energetic 6-year-old often seen riding his bike around the neighborhood, woke up to cries and shouting. His step-father was being pistol-whipped. His mother was being sexually assaulted. The attackers tied up the couple, ransacked the apartment and fled with a wallet and jewelry. They also took Angelo. It was September 30, 1992. Two decades later, a saga in which forensic science may have caught up with a suspect before authorities did will culminate Monday as the capital murder trial of Obel Cruz-Garcia opens. The 45-year-old is facing the death penalty, accused of kidnapping and killing Angelo. He denies it, he denies everything, said his attorney, Skip Cornelius. He has consistently denied any involvement. Cornelius said little else about strategy, including how to defuse DNA tests that appear to link Cruz-Garcia to the crime. In 1992, police believed the assaults and abduction were part of a drug deal gone bad, which the family denied. Friends and neighbors helped investigators search for the boy for six weeks. His remains were found by a man crabbing on the south shore of Goose Creek Lake in Baytown. He was identified through dental records and the torn Batman shorts he had been wearing when he was kidnapped. Even before the body was found, police wanted to talk to 25-year Obel Cruz-Garcia but believed he had fled the country. The case gathered dust as advances in DNA identification changed criminal investigations. In 2007, a DNA profile was created from evidence left by one of the assailants. Armed with a way to implicate at least one of the attackers, Houston investigators enlisted the help of the FBI who found Cruz-Garcia in a prison in Puerto Rico.

Go back | Date: 02 Dec 2017
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