If you're a Mexican drug cartel in Nuevo Laredo who would you hire to kill people for you? Apparently the Gulf cartel decided that getting some teens to murder people was a good choice.
It's the new "in" thing for cartels, they even have camps in Mexico to train these terrorists. Nicknamed "Zetillas", they are typically "American" kids 17 to 24. They are trained to kill targets on the north side of the border for the cartels and receive $5,000 to $50,000 a hit. Then, if they are caught and bail is set, bonding the murderers out to kill a few more people.
That's what happened in the case of murdering high school dropout Gabriel Cardona. He wasn't bailed out once, but twice on murder charges and murdered at least 5 people in a 10 month period, including one victim who was the wrong target. The travesty and outrage in this story, in addition to the victims, is the miscarriage of justice in the judges setting reduced bail on a murderer.
[Cardona] was arrested the day of his first murder, on June 8, 2005. After shooting a warehouse worker, Cardona and a childhood friend jumped into a Volkswagen Jetta and led police on a high-speed chase ...
They were arrested and charged with kidnapping and murder, along with a handful of alleged accomplices. Judge Flores set Cardona's bail at $250,000.
That sounds like a lot of money for a teenager who, at least on paper, had no job. But in Texas, defendants typically have to post only about 10 percent of the bail amount when they use a jail bond company. Prosecutors said Cardona was making good money on the murders and other side jobs. ...
Cardona's luck ran out shortly after 4:30 a.m. Feb. 5, 2006. Inspectors at the international bridge found a warrant for his arrest in a computer database and turned him over to police. He ended up back in Webb County Jail.
Twelve days after his arrest at the border, Cardona appeared before Flores. Guillen, the prosecutor, presented a motion to increase his bail for the original charges, the 2005 murder and kidnapping of Bruno Orozco, a former Nuevo Laredo police officer. He was shot seven times near a warehouse in an industrial section of the city.
Cardona was by now also charged with another murder, the killing of Noe Lopez. [The wrong victim - Digger]
Flores agreed to raise Cardona's bail to $2 million total. Less than a month later, however, Flores called for a bail-reduction hearing. Police weren't in court, records show. A different prosecutor attended in Guillen's place and signed a "joint motion" to reduce his bail.
Flores reduced the bail from $2 million to $400,000 on the Orozco murder and kidnapping. In the meantime, Liendo, the justice of the peace, had reduced his bail for engaging in organized crime from $2 million to $50,000, and from $1 million to $150,000 in the Lopez murder.
Within 72 hours of the hearing, on March 17, 2006, Cardona was back on the street.
Sixteen days later, Jesus Maria Resendez and his 15-year-old nephew, Mariano, were driving along Zapata Highway in a white Ford pickup. It was about 9 p.m.
The killers followed behind them in another pickup.
At a traffic light ... Cardona allegedly popped up from the back bed of the suspects' truck and started shooting, according to a criminal complaint.
Cardona was arrested April 12, 2006, after one of his accomplices talked about his involvement in the Resendez killings. He was charged with two counts of murder, bringing the total number of murder charges to five. He also is charged with multiple other offenses, ranging from aggravated assault to organized crime.
It's just ridiculous that this thug, who not only was running around killing people but police officers, was repeatedly let out onto the streets. And guess what? Now former judges and the district attorney are running for the hills. One, former state district court judge Manuel "Meme" Flores, miraculously doesn't even recall the case of Cordona and reducing his bails.
In all, Cardona, who is now 20, was charged with killing five people in the span of 10 months, including Garcia, Lopez and the Resendezes. So far, he's pleaded guilty to two murder charges and faces three more.
A Houston Chronicle review of court, police and jail-booking records shows a former state district court judge, Manuel "Meme" Flores, reduced Cardona's bail despite warnings from the prosecutors that he was a "continuing threat" and a flight risk. The former judge, now in private practice, said he has "no independent recollection" of the Cardona case.
Speaking generally about setting bail, he said: "There is that presumption of innocence for a defendant, and you try and set bail in a way that's not oppressive, in a way that gives the defendant the opportunity to get out and prepare for trial with his lawyer."
The Chronicle investigation also revealed a pattern of bail reductions by a Webb County justice of the peace, Hector Liendo, on behalf of Cardona and an alleged accomplice, a young man named Jesse Gonzalez III, who is charged with three murders — two allegedly committed while he was out on bail. Gonzalez, who spent 11 days in jail on a murder charge before bonding out, remains a fugitive.
Liendo did not return repeated phone calls.
In cases involving multiple homicides and murders for hire, a Texas district attorney can file a capital murder charge or a motion to deny bail and legally hold a defendant without bail at least temporarily, according to Texas law.
Why such charges or motions were not filed in the Cardona case remains unclear. Webb County District Attorney Joe Rubio did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
Bunch of wimps. Maybe there needs to be an investigation to see if there's corruption involved in Webb County and if cartels are having some sort of influence.
There's only one person to blame in the end and that is George W. Bush. He doesn't want to do what needs to be done along our southern border to protect the citizens of this country. Instead he wants to continue to play games with words and pretend that southern border security is simply all about lovely illegal aliens who just want a job. The blood continues to add up and clot on his hands on a daily basis.