Day 2 of Daniel Villegas murder trial: Cousin takes stand


    Daniel Villegas' cousin David Rangel

    More than a half-dozen witnesses in the Daniel Villegas murder trial took the stand Wednesday morning.

    Daniel Villegas is charged with capital murder in the 1993 deaths of Armando "Mando" Lazo and Bobby England.

    Prosecutors questioned one of the crime scene officers who responded to the double slaying.

    Juan Medina said he ran when shots were fired in 1993.

    His testimony was similar to Jesse Hernandez’s account of what happened 25 years ago.

    Medina recalled a car that drove past them on Transmountain and another that drove past them on Electric Street where the shooting happened shortly afterward.

    Prosecutors questioned the state about Medina's relationship with businessman John Mimbela, including possible employment.

    Jeffery Kelly, a firearms analyst with the Texas Department of Public Safety, testified after Medina stepped down from the stand. Kelly confirmed the shell casings from the gun used in the 1993 shooting were from a .22-caliber gun. The shell casings alone can’t identify whether a handgun or rifle was used in the shooting. Kelly testified the casings were run through a national database but, no matches came up. But Kelly also said not all of the firearms in America are registered with the system.

    Villegas’ cousin, David Rangel, was questioned by the state prosecutor about a phone conversation he had with Villegas some days after the shooting. Rangel says the shooting came up during their conversation. Rangel testified his cousin said that he was the one who shot and killed Lazo and England. Rangel said Villegas recognized the kids, saw them throwing local gang signs and then shot them with a shotgun.

    Rangel later testified that he heard one of Villegas’ friends in the background, Marcos Gonzalez, laughing and thought Villegas had been drinking.

    Rangel said he told police the phone call had happened and what Villegas had said was accurate.

    But Rangel testified during cross-examination by defense attorney Joe Spencer that he thought Villegas was joking and pulling a "gotcha" phone call.

    He also said during the cross-examination one of the detectives asked him to do another statement following a written statement he provided to police. He would then give an oral account of the phone call to the detective. Rangel claims the detective pressured him say something different in the statement, otherwise he’d be charged with the capital murder charge.

    Following Rangel’s testimony, the state wished to call Fernando Lujan to the stand. But, Lujan never gave his testimony exercising his Fifth Amendment right and wanted an attorney.

    The state questioned why he was exercising this right when the line of questioning didn’t implicate him in any crime.

    The defense and Lujan’s appointed attorney felt the statements were once again made under duress.

    The state felt Lujan’s testimony would have proved he had conversations with Villegas about owning a .22-caliber weapon.

    The trial is expected to resume Thursday morning.

    Reporter Ryan Hill will be in the courtroom; you can follow him at @RyanKFOX_CBS for live updates.

    Replay what happened during the first day of the trial.

    News In Photos

      Loading ...