Texas To Execute Arnold Prieto Today Over Screwdriver Attack

21 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Arnold Prieto (above) is set to be executed in Texas today for his role in a 1993 triple murder.

Arnold Prieto, 41, was barely out of his teens when he and two friends, brothers Jesse and Guadalupe Hernandez, murdered Rodolfo Rodriguez, 72, his wife, Virginia, 62, and Paula Moran, 90, whom Rodolfo and Virginia cared for at their home. HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — The killings of a San Antonio couple and a 90-year-old family friend, each stabbed or cut up to 31 times, went unsolved for about seven months before an informant’s tip sent detectives to a relative 300 miles away. This as Prieto admits to killing Rodolfo by stabbing the man to death with a screwdriver, but maintains his innocence in the deaths of Virginia and Moran.

The Houston Chronicle reports that in a statement to police after the murders, Prieto admitted that the boys had been doing cocaine on the night before murders, and that it was Guadalupe’s idea to drive to the Rodriguez home and kill the three in order to steal $10,000 he believed they had for a check cashing business they ran out of their home. Guadalupe, who even police identified as the mastermind behind the murders, eventually had all charges against him dropped and served no time behind bars. ‘Nothing new really, since they have been stacked from the very beginning. … Where is the dangerous killer and monster (jurors) foresaw??? … Maybe the crystal ball was cloudy during those days or maybe they did not shake the ball hard enough.’ The brothers introduced Prieto to cocaine and often mentioned their rich uncle, who they described as a loan shark with a closet full of money, according to court documents. Police later recovered a ring from a friend of Prieto who told authorities Prieto said he and the Hernandez brothers were responsible for the killings. “He had a number of voluntary statements that were admitted into evidence in which he admitted to the crime,” Michael Bernard, Prieto’s lead trial lawyer, recalled last week. “He was in physical possession of some of the property afterward.” Bernard said prosecutors offered Prieto a plea deal that included a sentence less than life in prison if he would testify against one of his companions.

He also was indicted in January 1994 on federal charges of engaging in organized criminal activity for the theft of 163 laptops worth $676,000 from a Dallas warehouse where he’d worked.

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