Thursday, May 31, 2007

March 6, 2007

...The Beaver...

Last Meal: Perez had a final meal request of five pieces of fried chicken, one double meat hamburger with cheese and onion, onion rings, three cheese and onion enchiladas, one onion, french fries, hot sauce, pico de gallo, jalapeno peppers and two cokes.

The skinny: Robert "Beaver" Perez, 48, a notorious leader of the prison-based Mexican Mafia gang, was executed by lethal injection for the murder of two fellow gang members. He was linked to more than 15 San Antonio murders. Perez, a father of eight and laborer by trade with only a ninth-grade education, ascended to power within the organization using his charisma and ruthlessness.

More skinny: In the mid-1990’s, the Mexican Mafia, or “La Eme,” in San Antonio was in a state of flux. Perez went gunning for Luis “Blue” Adames, who was seeking to replace Herbert Huerta as President. Huerta had been sentenced to life in federal prison. so he named Diane “Laura” Guzman as general of the San Antonio division. Adames challenged the appointment, naming himself as the new president. The organization split in two, with each faction determined to assassinate the alleged traitors in the other group.

Perez spotted Adames vehicle and along with accomplices Joe Sandoval and Javier Garcia went to arm themselves and then returned to the area, looking for Adames. Instead, they found Adames’ supporters. A barrage of gunshots followed resulting in two deaths, and the wounding of other.

Just months after the two men were murdered, Adames was murdered. Perez not only ordered the hit, he had planned it.

Additionally, Perez ordered the murders of several other people. Emilio Barrera Alejandro died as a result of thirteen gunshot wounds, eleven to the head and two to the chest. Earnest Ybarra died as a result of twelve gunshot wounds. Adam Tenorio was killed because he disobeyed an order not to discuss the West French Place murders. He died as a result of eleven stab wounds. Robert De Los Santos was killed for the same reason as Tenorio. He died as a result of blunt force trauma and strangulation. Daniel Moreno was killed as an example to other members, having failed to perform some task he had volunteered to do. He died as a result of two gunshot wounds, one to the face and one to the chest. Elijilio De La Garza (“Chico”) died as a result of eleven gunshot wounds, including five to the head. De La Garza was the one who said that Perez had ordered the killings at West French Place. Presumably, he was killed for this reason.

The West French Place murders mentioned above were, at the time, the most violent and bloody in San Antonio’s history. While at least two former members of the Mexican Mafia disputed that Perez ordered the murders, both acknowledged that Perez had ordered the hijacking. It was thought that large amounts of both cocaine and cash would be found in the targeted apartment. Those who participated went armed with shotguns. All five people found in the apartment were bound with duct tape. Then, for reasons still unclear, all five were shot and killed. Only five pounds of marijuana and $300 in cash were confiscated.

Priors and Currents: Perez had a previous conviction for attempted manslaughter for stabbing a man numerous times in the heart and stomach during a domestic disturbance in October 1986. He was sentenced to ten years in prison. He was paroled in August 1990. While on parole, Perez received convictions for aggravated assault and evading arrest. He was returned to prison for a short while in 1992, but was paroled again after four months. At the time, parole for repeat offenders was common in Texas due to strict prison population caps imposed by a U.S. District Judge. He was on parole at the time of the murders.

Before being tried for the two murders, Perez was a co-defendant in a federal trial for the murders of 5 people at West French Place apartments. He was convicted of racketeering and conspiracy and was sentenced to life in federal prison - a sentence he never served, since he received the death penalty in his state trial.

Last words and such: Perez greeted his wife, two sons and a brother with a big smile as they entered the death chamber. "Yes sir, Ernest, Christopher, Ochente, Mary and Jennifer tell all the kids I love them and never forget. Tell Bobby, Mr. Bear will be dancing for them. Tell Bear not to feel bad. My love always, I love you all. Stay strong Mary, take care of them. I love you too. I am ready Warden. I got my boots on, like a cowboy."

In the moments before Perez was executed for the slayings of two men, his wife offered him up one last prayer for peace. "God Bless you," murmured Mary Perez, as two of her husband's sons, wept and embraced her, and his brother Ernest stood by. His wife continued, "You're still my hero. You'll always be my hero."

Just before slipping into unconsciousness after the lethal dose began, Perez said he could "taste it." Seven minutes later, at 6:17 p.m., he was pronounced dead.

No friends or relatives of the victims chose to attend.

Factoids: Perez was the...

8th murderer executed in U.S. in 2007
1065th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
7th murderer executed in Texas in 2007
386th murderer executed in Texas since 1976

On an Internet site inmates use to seek penpals, Perez said he couldn't promise letter writers much more than friendship and a "vow to be honest, respectful, understanding and a very good listener. I give you my loyalty in all aspects."