At around 9-10 pm on July 21, 2000 myself, John Jimenez, John Jimenez's brother in law, Ramon Nunez, Jose Nunez, Marco Gallegos and Jose Gallegos were sitting on the tailgate of my truck outside John Jimenez's house. After a while Ramon Nunez and Jose Gallegos decided to leave the Jimenez residence. John Jimenez stepped into his house and I then proceeded to the side of the house to use the restroom. I THEN HEARD arguing and on the way back I saw Jesse Hernandez bickering with Jose Nunez. Jesse stood literally a few feet away from me. Alfredo was standing 175 ft away from me . At this point , I noticed Alfredo Lopez with his hands at his waist under his shirt . I then yelled at both Alfredo and Jesse to leave. I THEN shot once in the air. Alfredo started running and stopped again and kept yelling things. Jesse also RAN in the direction of where Alfredo was. I shot a second shot at a 45 degree angle above them NOT AT THEM. Everyone at the scene saw Alfredo and Jesse RUN OFF. NO ONE WAS SHOT, HURT, MUCH LESS INJURED IN ANY TYPE OF WAY.
"On July 21, 2000, 18 year old Alfredo Lopez was fatally shot in the back outside a West Dallas Residence. The crime scene encompassed Canada Dr, Coronet St, and Bataan St. At trial, Lopez's friend, Jesse Hernandez, testified he and Lopez were riding bicycles at about 10:15 p.m. on Canada Dr. near Bataan St. when they became involved in a confrontation with Manuel and his friends. Hernandez told Lopez to drop his bicycle and run. Manuel according to Hernandez said " I don't want you I want your friend, Freddy". Manuel pulled out a gun and shot in the air. Hernandez ran. While running, Hernandez heard a second shot but did not know the whereabouts of Lopez. He returned to the area where the shots were fired and saw Lopez Lying on the parkway between the street and sidewalk outside 3350 Bataan. Lopez had been shot once in the back; the bullet exited his left upper chest area.
Across the street , Albert Ayala was on his porch when he heard a gunshot and saw Hernandez running and then Lopez running. Ayala spotted Manuel standing between a house and a tree. About the time Lopez reached a parked van. Ayala saw Manuel fire a gun. Ayala saw the flash of the gun and jumped on the ground. When Ayala looked up, Lopez was on the ground and Manuel was walking away. Ayala ran to Lopez, who was still alive but could not speak. Hernandez then arrived at the scene. Ayala said he had no doubt that Manuel was the person who shot Lopez. Ayala said he was beaten up the same night by Manuel's friends for snitching on Manuel".
This is what the state told the jury. The jury agreed with the state and convicted Manuel to 50 years in prison.
EYEWITNESS-A PERSON WHO ACTUALLY SEES SOME ACT, OCCURRENCE, OR THING AND CAN GIVE A FIRSTHAND ACCOUNT OF IT.
A guilty verdict indicated that the murder case of Alfredo Lopez was solved. What happened during trial was stated in court documents which are accessible.
1. Eye witness Testimony:
2. Physical Evidence
EVIDENCE- THAT WHICH TENDS TO PROVE OR DISPROVE SOMETHING; GROUND FOR BELIEF; PROOF.
B) Jesse Hernandez was with Alfredo Lopez the night he was murdered.
2. Physical Evidence
What appears to look like an open and shut case isn't necessarily so.
1. Manuel NEVER denied firing his gun that night . Manuel has always said that he fired his gun twice to scare Jesse Hernandez and Alfredo Lopez off. The ONE shell casing that matched Manuel's weapon was found on a "roadway" according to court documents (pg 78 lines 6-7). THE SHELL CASING belonging to Manuel's gun WAS NOT FOUND AT , AROUND OR NEAR THE BODY. Alfredo was found on BATAAN street 200 yards away from where Manuel was LOCATED. NO BLOOD TRAIL WAS EVER FOUND AT, AROUND OR NEAR WHERE ALFREDO WAS SUPPOSEDLY SHOT. THE STATES STAR WITNESS ALBERT AYALA TESTIFIED TO SEEING MANUEL RUNNING AFTER ALFREDO AND MURDERING HIM ON BATAAN ST . IF WHAT ALBERT AYALA SAID IS TRUE THEN THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN A SHELL CASING FOUND IN THE AREA WHERE ALBERT SAID MANUEL MURDERED HIM.
2. The gun residue hand washings were only done on MANUEL and the FRIENDS that were with him that night. There were crowds of people in the crime scene area. Police Officers found more than enough shell casings that night to which anyone can determine that there only could of been other suspects. Police Officers also stated to this area being a HIGH CRIME AREA and even heard other gunshots upon arrival. There were other weapons besides MANUELS that a helicopter had to be called to see exactly what was going on . Detectives themselves noted to finding 18 shell casings.
3. ADRIANA VALDEZ was never called as a witness during trial ONLY because she was pregnant and didn't "like" Manuel. She stated that her husband GEORGE VALDEZ told her to say that Albert was NOT with them that night because ALBERT was on the monitor and was not supposed to be anywhere else besides his house. ALBERT arrived with them in the truck and ALBERT had NO WAY of KNOWING what happened that night. She mentioned in a deposition (pg19-20) that JESSE HERNANDEZ PUSHED ALBERT AGAINST A TREE AND TOLD HIM THAT HE WAS FRIENDS WITH MANUEL. Albert did get beat up that night. But it wasn't by Manuel's "friends". They were downtown getting questioned that night about what took place that night. ADRIANA also stated that she knew ALBERT was getting involved in something that he had no knowledge about.
3. Sylvia Jimenez ( the other owner of the house ) and Jose Nunez where Manuel was at that night. Heard 2 additional gun shots after Jesse and Alfredo ran off. The TWO shots were never determined from who they came from and by that time Manuel was no longer in the area. Sylvia Jimenez was also never called to testify in court.
4. NOT ONLY IS ALBERTS TESTIMONY WHAT MADE THE CASE BUT one of the THING THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED WASNT. The BULLET was never found. NOT ONLY THAT BUT IN THE AUTOPSY REPORT IT STATES THAT THE WOUND WAS 1/8 OF AN INCH. Common Sense will tell you that a 1/8 of an inch wound will not be the result of a .40 caliber weapon which is greater. According to Raul Guajardo, forensic scientist "Alfredo would have to of been on the ground in relation to the path of the bullet that ALFREDO had. This negates what ALBERT AYALA said which states that Manuel "chased' after him and killed him.
In November 2009 Richard Nunez met this girl named "Ameris". "Ameris" told Richard Nunez that her ex-boyfriend/husband was from an area of West Dallas which was from where Richard was from also. "Ameris" who we later found out was using her daughters name and whose real name is actually Roxanne Hernandez revealed specific details about her ex-boyfriend/husband. It just so happened that her ex was actually JESSE HERNANDEZ who was at that time incarcerated on another charge. The big deal was what Roxanne said to Richard: Roxanne told Richard that JESSSE HERNANDEZ had confessed to her that he ACCIDENTALLY KILLED ALFREDO LOPEZ. JESSE STATED EVERY TIME NEAR ALFREDOS BIRTHDAY NEARS HE FEELS GUILTY ABOUT WHAT HE DID. JESSE TOLD ROXANNE THAT SOMEONE HAD BEEN FOUND GUILTY, BUT IT WAS THE WRONG PERSON WHO WENT TO JAIL. JESSE ACCIDENTALLY SHOT HIM. JESSE CONTINUED TO TELL HER THAT HE WAS SCARED TO TURN HIMSELF IN.
*********WHAT JESSE HERNANDEZ CONFESSED TO ROXANNE SUMS THIS STORY UP. WHAT ADRIANA SAID FROM THE BEGINNING WAS TRUE. ALBERT WAS WITH THEM THE WHOLE NIGHT SO ALBERT COULDNT OF SEEN ANYTHING. SHE SAW AND HEARD JESSE TELL ALBERT TO GET AWAY BECAUSE HE WAS FRIENDS WITH MANUEL AND SHOVED HIM AGAINST A TREE. ALBERT WAS THREATENED THAT NIGHT BUT CERTAINLY NOT BY MANUELS "FRIENDS". ALBERT HIMSELF HAS TOLD PEOPLE THAT HE WAS THREATENED TO GO TO COURT AND SAY THAT MANUEL KILLED ALFREDO OTHERWISE HIS FAMILY WOULD GET HURT IF HE DIDNT. OUTSIDE OF COURT HE HAS NEVER SAID THAT HE WAS BEATEN UP BY MANUELS FAMILY OR FRIENDS. FORENSIC SCIENTIST RAUL GUAJARDO SAID IN HIS AFFIDAVIT THAT ALFREDO LOPEZ WAS SHOT WHILE ON THE GROUND OR IN PRONE POSITION WHICH CONTRADICTS WHAT ALBERT WAS TOLD TO SAY. ALBERT SAYS HE SAW MANUEL CHASE ALFREDO AND KILL HIM. JESSE WAS KNOWN TO CARRY A GUN (.22-.25) . THAT VERY NIGHT JESSE WAS SEEN GOING HOME AND CHANGE HIS BLOODY SHIRT . JESSE HERNANDEZ DID NOT BOTHER TO CALL THE COPS HE WENT HOME TO CHANGE FIRST. ADRIANA VALDEZ CALLED THE COPS AND THATS WHY THEY SHOWED UP. IF MANUEL KILLED YOUR FRIEND THEN WHY DIDNT YOU SAY IN COURT YES THATS MANUEL HE KILLED ALFREDO. WHY DID JESSE DENY SEEING MANUEL IN COURT WHEN ASKED BY THE PROSECUTOR? WHY WOULD YOU CHANGE OUT OF YOUR BLOODY SHIRT AND THEN GO BACK TO THE CRIME SCENE AND CRY ABOUT YOUR FRIEND? IN MY OPINION I DO BELIEVE IN NO WAY WAS IT JESSE HERNANDEZ INTENTION ON KILLING ALFREDO IN COLD BLOOD BUT IT DID HAPPEN. JESSE ACCIDENTALLY SHOT ALFREDO AND MANUEL IS SUPPOSED TO ACCEPT A MURDER CHARGE WHEN YOU HAVE JESSE HERNANDEZ TELLING HIS EX- WIFE I DID SOMETHING AND I FEEL GUILTY FOR IT. EVERYONE TALKS ABOUT THIS BUT NO ONE WANTS TO COME FORWARD. SO HERE IT IS IN BLACK AND WHITE. BECAUSE WHAT SEEMED LIKE AN OPEN AND SHUT CASE WASNT NECESSARILY SO.
The fact of the matter is that more people jump to conclusions than evaluate what is actually real.
We have never doubted Manuel's innocence. This situation opened our eyes to another world we knew nothing about. What makes this case complicated is one reason to many. The fact that we don't have any SCIENCTIFIC EVIDENCE SUCH AS DNA, the gun Manuel carried that night was used to show the jury ONLY that he had a gun that night. Even with presenting that to the jury the state didn't prove his GUN was USED to kill ALFREDO LOPEZ because the bullet was never even found. A gun residue hand washing proved Manuel shot his gun that night but never killed Alfredo . This was always said by him as well as everyone else present from day 1. The wound on Alfredo Lopez doesn't even match up to how much more damage a .40 caliber gun could have made. What else is left besides 1 person who was beat up by some "people" who he claims were Manuel's friends (who by the way were downtown in custody)? ALBERT AYALA HAS ALWAYS SAID HE SAW THE MURDER . In actuality nothing else as far as Manuel's gun, the hand washing, not even having a bullet or fining a shell casing by Alfredo or anything else really mattered in his case besides a positive eye witness testimony that Albert Ayala gave. That made the states case. Well known attorneys and investigators we have had over the years state there are only two things at this point that not only prove what we have been saying this whole time is the truth but will exonerate Manuel.
1. Albert Ayala comes forward and says why he lied . and or
2. The person who actually murdered Alfredo Lopez comes forward (JESSE HERNANDEZ).
If there is a slight thought of any doubt then Manuel should have NEVER been convicted of murder. In this case there is plenty of doubt. If Manuel is guilty of anything its firing his gun but not murder. Other than this case Manuel had no criminal record to even say this was not a surprise.
*** Trial Attorney
The attorney we hired for trial , Anthony P. Calisi failed to call witnesses, hire expert witness (such as a ballistics/forensic scientist etc.) and did not use his legal skills to the best of his ability. It was hard to overcome the states theory without expert testimony and this would have also demolished Albert Ayala's testimony since it was NOT TRUE. We considered a civil suit against him but were advised to go forward with Manuel's criminal case rather than taking on a civil case. Calisi charged at the time $50,000+ $5,000 for a ballistics expert that was never called to even go and testify in court. Calisi went as far as saying he was 85% he could win the case. He is no longer practicing law due to resignation in lieu of disciplinary action.
NOTE: Disciplinary action was taken due to other cases.
No one is willing to admit they made a mistake. One thing after 27 years of knowing Manuel I know is not a coward. IF he committed the crime he would never put our family through the burden of forking over $100,000 in legal and attorney fees we didn't even have. After a long battle with his case he's not forgotten. And we will move mountains to get this resolved. WE all completely understand a life was taken. But what also needs to be understood is that it was not by the hands of Manuel. The Lopez family has suffered and did suffer with their loss. Its a shame that who they believe is the person who took away there son isn't true. The person who "tried" to console them during a difficult time was the person who undoubtedly made a mistake. This situation needs to be taken for what it is worth. In this case its worth a lot more than anyone can handle.
AS A RESULT OF ROXANNE HERNANDEZ CONFIRMING WHAT HER HUSBAND JESSE HERNANDEZ DID THAT NIGHT. I UNDERSTAND THAT WHAT JESSE DID WAS POSSIBLY AN ACCIDENT. JESSE HERNANDEZ WAS FROM THE BEGINNING VIEWED AS A VICTIM AND NOT AS A SUSPECT. THIS "ACCIDENT" THAT HE MADE DID NOT HELP THE LOPEZ FAMILY OUT IN THE SLIGHTEST WAY EITHER. WHO THEY CONSIDERED A FRIEND WAS ACTUALLY THE PERSON WHO TOOK AWAY A FAMILY MEMBER. IM NO ONE TO JUDGE WHAT TYPE OF FRIEND or PERSON THAT MAKES HIM BUT NOTE THAT HE TOOK AWAY ALFREDOS LIFE AS WELL AS MINE.
I WOULD NEVER MURDER SOMEONE OR EVEN THINK TO SIMPLY BECAUSE I HAD a FRIEND MURDERED IN FRONT OF MY EYES. I WOULD NEVER EMBARASS MY FAMILY BY CLAIMING TO BE INNOCENT IF I KNEW THAT I MURDERED SOMEONE AND TRIED TO TAKE THE EASY WAY OUT. THE STATES THEORY HAS BEEN AND IS BROKEN BY THE LACK OF EVIDENCE. ALBERT AYALA THE STAR WITNESSES TESTIMONY HAS ALSO BEEN AND IS DEMOLISHED. ALBERT AYALA HIMSELF HAS STATED TO PEOPLE HE LIED IN COURT . SO WHAT DOES THAT LEAVE ME WITH? A CONVICTION FOR A CRIME SOMEONE ELSE COMMITTED.
ONE THING FOR SURE UNLIKE JESSE HERNANDEZ I DONT LIVE WITH A GUILTY CONSCIENCE. I REFUSE AND WILL NOT GIVE UP ON MY CASE. I HAVE MY FAMILY 200% BEHIND ME AND AS LONG AS I DO THIS WILL NOT JUST BE A MADE UP THEORY OF THE PAST AND FORGOTTEN. LET IT BE KNOWN HERE THAT MY CASE WILL NOT JUST GET BURRIED AND DISREGARDED.