Skip to main content

tv   Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown  CNN  February 5, 2016 11:00pm-12:01am PST

11:00 pm
to answer for that one day. it may not be here. they'll have to answer for it. on this episode of death row stories, a brutal murder in texas. >> he went crazy. he started shooting all over the place. >> lands a 17-year-old offender on death row. >> young people were committing very adult crimes. >> but with questionable evidence -- >> there's no guns. there's no blood dna, nothing. >> and a death sentence looming. a d.a. has doubts. >> i was horrified by what i saw. >> and a boy's life hangs in the balance. >> evil people. i'm never going to change if they should be executed.
11:01 pm
>> there's a body in the water. >> people proclaim their innocence. in this case, there are a number of things that stink. >> this man is remorseless. >> he needs to pay for it. >> the electric chair flashed in front of my eyes. >> get a conviction at all costs. let the truth fall where it may. ♪ on the south side of san antonio, texas, late on a fall evening in 1984, a murder was about to take place. >> the neighborhood was very tough. you know, there are street gangs all over the place. people talk about the mexican mafia. >> in a small half-built house slept two construction workers, 19-year-old juan moreno, and
11:02 pm
25-year-old pedro gomez. >> they were spending the night there because i believe the owner of the house had had a water heater stolen. so he had asked them to stay there to protect this property as he built this house. >> but juan and pedro were about to have unexpected company. >> what happened that particular night, these two decided to go into the house. one of them sneaked in through a window, opened the back door for the other guy, and the other guy had a rifle. >> the robbers turned on a light and discovered juan and pedro sleeping on the floor. >> juan moreno was hit on the head with the rifle. the other guy wakes up, and he had a gun underneath the pillow. so he reaches for it. >> and when pedro gomez reached under there, that's when they unloaded on the two of them. >> the guy with the rifle, he just panicked, and he just started shooting. [ gunshots ]
11:03 pm
>> juan and pedro were each shot nine times. the robbers took their wallets and watches and fled, leaving their victims for dead. >> i think the number of shots fired was pretty intensive. normally you shoot them once or twice or whatever you can get out of there. but they were shot several times. so it was a pretty vicious crime. >> pedro gomez was shot in the head and died instantly. but juan moreno, despite his wounds, managed to crawl to his pickup truck and call for help. [ sirens ] >> eventually taken to the hospital, juan lost a lung, a kidney, and part of his stomach. zb >> he was near death after the shooting. i think it's almost a miracle that he survived. it's because of his age. he was young and strong. >> juan, still struggling to survive, told police his
11:04 pm
attackers had been two hispanic teenagers, but that description matched thousands of young men in the area. san antonio police canvassed the south side neighborhood, but in an area dominated by a ruthless street gang with a strict code of silence, the trail ran cold. but three weeks after the murder, rumors started swirling at a local high school that two teenagers, david garza, age 15, and reuben cantu, age 17, had committed the crime. reuben had even bragged about being the shooter. >> people differ about whether reuben himself was part of a gang. his older brothers were in gangs. there was pool halls. there was drug dealing in the streets. there was a car theft ring in that same neighborhood. it was a tough place to grow up. >> four months after the
11:05 pm
shooting, juan moreno, still recovering from his wounds, was shown a police photo lineup with reuben cantu's picture. >> moreno identified reuben cantu as the assailant. he was charged with murder, and the case was taken and accepted by the district attorney's office. >> district attorney sam milsap, the youngest big city d.a. in the country, would now decide whether to try 17-year-old reuben cantu as an adult, making him eligible for the death penalty. >> we had very, very young people who were committing very adult crimes, very brutal crimes, and i was moved by that. the only thing that a prosecutor could do in that situation because of the brutality of the crime was to prosecute it as a capital murder, and i had a perfect record in death penalty cases. >> reuben cantu's trial began on
11:06 pm
july 22nd, 1985. in court, the prosecution's star witness, juan moreno, described how cantu shot pedro gomez in the head, then turned the rifle on him and riddled his body with bullets. >> mr. moreno was a very good witness. he was very sympathetic. i know at one time he was asked to raise his shirt and show the scars and the wounds that he had received. when the jury saw the scars, it made a pretty big impression. i also asked, are you able to identify in court today the man who shot and killed your friend, and he was able to say, yes, i see him. he's sitting right there, and pointed to mr. cantu. >> a jury decided very quickly. in just an hour and a half they ruled that cantu should die by lethal injection. >> a supporter of cantu tried to block the camera minutes after the jury returned with its
11:07 pm
decision that cantu should be executed. >> district attorney sam milsap agreed with the jury's verdict. >> ruben cantu arguably received a perfect trial. i say that because he had a fair judge. he had a very fine defense lawyer. he had an ethical prosecutor, and the jury made the only decision that they could make under the circumstances. >> reuben's accomplice, a man named david garza, received 20 years. cantu was sent to solitary confinement at the huntsville state penitentiary, 230 miles east of san antonio. from his cell, reuben wrote a letter addressed to the citizens of san antonio. >> this was a letter he wrote not long after he was convicted. he said my name is reuben m.cantu, and i'm only 18 years old. i have been framed in a capital
11:08 pm
murder case, so i'm going to have to spend the rest of my life in prison or die by so-called lethal injection. it's an angry letter. he's outraged about what's happened to him, but it's got some very, very powerful charges in it. >> for sam milsap, the letter was just another convict claiming innocence. but as the years went by, milsap began to have doubts. >> it never occurred to me, when i was 35 years old and i was the smartest guy in the room, that the criminal justice system could get it wrong in these cases. if i could do it over again, i never would have made the decision to prosecute reuben cantu for capital murder. .. at&t helps keep everyone connected. right now at at&t, buy the samsung galaxy s6 and get one free. buy one get one free. no matter how you hang out,
11:09 pm
share every minute of it. right now at at&t, buy the samsung galaxy s6 and get one free. twell what if i told you that peanuts can work for you? that's right. i'm talking full time delivery of 7 grams of protein and 6 essential nutrients. ever see a peanut take a day off? i don't think so. harness the hardworking power of the peanut. a blade. many blades. tsharp blades.g. blades here, blades there. some more over there... whoa! that's not another blade. this is shielding. with lubrication here and here. the new gillette with proshield lubrication before and after the blades shields from irritation for a close, comfortable shave.
11:10 pm
the new proshield from gillette. the best a man can get. and one proshield refill gets you up to one month of shaves. i thione second it's there.day. then, woosh, it's gone. i swear i saw it swallow seven people. seven. i just wish one of those people could have been mrs. johnson. [dog bark] trust me, we're dealing with a higher intelligence here. ♪ the all-new audi q7 is here. ♪ and feeling good, sort of.n and real, and 500 calories or less. the clean pairings menu. at panera. food as it should be.
11:11 pm
11:12 pm
in 1985, sam milsap successfully sent juvenile offender ruben cantu to death row for the murder of pedro gomez. >> it was not a difficult decision in 1985 to prosecute the case as a capital murder case because we had a survivor of a brutal crime who was able to identify cantu. but there are things that i know and understand today that i didn't understand at that point. >> ruben came from south san
11:13 pm
antonio in what was a very tough neighborhood. his parents split when he was a young kid, and his mother left, and he stayed with his father. >> he was a pretty good older brother to me. he would look out for me, and everything was fine up until this happened. a cousin of mine called and said that he had been on the news, that he'd been arrested for murder. i was just like devastated, you know, in disbelief. >> on death row, ruben wrote a letter claim he had been framed by police. that got the attention of the naacp, who hired richard reyna to investigate. as a former cop, reyna had heard claims of innocence before. >> naturally not all the time are you going to run into people that are innocent. but what got my curiosity on this case is that they didn't really have any evidence connecting ruben to that house. no fingerprints, no physical evidence, none whatsoever.
11:14 pm
>> richard also discovered that police had only focused their attention on ruben after he was involved in an unrelated crime. >> i saw where ruben had been involved with a police officer in a shoot-out at some bar, not pertaining to this murder. >> i think ruben was arrested because of something that happened after that murder. he and a couple of his friends were at a bar, shooting pool, and they had a conflict with an off-duty officer. he accidentally hit him with the pool stick. words were exchanged. >> the off-duty officer was joe dela luz, a 16-year veteran of the force. >> the officer, he showed him his weapons. he was in regular civilian clothes, so they didn't know. my brother ruben felt
11:15 pm
threatened. he shot the officer, not knowing he was an officer. >> the officer would survive. but after ruben was arrested, they realized they had a problem. >> the fact of the matter is ruben was never prosecuted in that bar fight where he shot a police officer. there was no case that could be made against ruben, which implies that joe dela luz drew his gun on ruben before ruben fired. otherwise, why wouldn't they have prosecuted ruben cantu for attempting to kill a police officer? >> rather than letting ruben go, sargent bill ewell, who supervised homicides for the p.d. the gomez murder had gone unsolved for four months. >> bill ewel was a friend of joe dela luz, the officer who was
11:16 pm
shot, and he also ended up being the person in charge of this murder investigation. so after the shooting of bill ewel's friend, bill ewel decides to take another look at ruben cantu. >> by now, juan moreno had twice failed to identify ruben cantu as the shooter. but with ruben in custody, ewel sent a detective to juan's home. >> i took the photos, the forms, i showed juan this array.. he sat there, looked at them and looked at them and looked at them. and he shoved them aside and looked away from them. and he said, look, i know who did it. i know who shot me. so why do i have to identify anyone out of this photo array? so i said, well, who did it? he said, ruben cantu. well, we went round and round, and i could tell that the guy was very scared, and he didn't want to sign anything.
11:17 pm
i think that he was afraid of retaliation. he just would not do it. so i folded up my typewriter, and bid farewell. >> it didn't make any sense to me that juan moreno supposedly saw ruben cantu face to face, inches apart, when he was shot. but they showed him at least five or more photo lineups with ruben cantu in these lineups, and he still couldn't identify him. why is he not being identified? >> still unsatisfied, police brought juan moreno to the station and told him ruben had just shot a police officer. this time, moreno finally picked ruben out of a lineup. >> now they come back and say he identified ruben cantu as the shooter, and that was it. you know, and i said, no, that doesn't work. you can see quickly that there's a pattern there, and it doesn't
11:18 pm
work. >> richard needed to speak with juan himself. after weeks of effort, he finally tracked down juan and convinced him to do a videotaped interview. [ speaking spanish ] >> richard also asked juan about his statement fingering cantu, which was written in english. [ speaking spanish ] >> juan kept telling me the police kept showing up, and they kept showing me photo lineups,
11:19 pm
and i said it wasn't him. he's not in here. >> and they said, yes, he was. they kept telling me that they knew it was him. i knew in my heart it wasn't him, but i was pressured and pressured all the time. so i used the name ruben cantu. >> in addition to not speaking english, juan moreno was an illegal immigrant. >> the fact is that he was in the country illegally. he was apparently concerned as anyone would be about deportation. and so to claim that he felt pressure is entirely credible. >> richard now felt certain that san antonio police had pressured juan moreno into fingering the wrong man. but after seeing how the texas courts had handled ruben's case, richard turned to investigative reporter lisa olsen for help. lisa reported on crime and corruption at the "houston chronicle." >> i got a tip from one of my death penalty sources that a
11:20 pm
private detective, who i later learned was richard reyna, had interviewed this eyewitness and that he had recanted. i was very skeptical because there are a lot of people on death row who have innocence claims, and often they're fabricated claims. it is very unusual, though, for a case to rest on such limited evidence. but with someone in texas sentenced to death based on the wrong information. >> lisa would begin investigating ruben's story, and in the process, come face to face with the man who sent ruben to death row. sam milsap. dear, why don't we switch to directv? now mother, we are settlers. i've settled for cable all my life. but directv has been number one in customer satisfaction over cable for 15 years. we find our satisfaction elsewhere. the boy has his stick and hoop. the girl - her faceless doll. and you have your cabbages. and you...have your foot stomping.
11:21 pm
i sure do. (vo) don't be a settler. get a $100 visa prepaid card when you switch to directv. then i slowly feel it start to kind of wrap itself around me- then the next thing i know it's morning. with tempur-flex you've got the spring and bounce of a traditional mattress and it also adjusts to my body. ahhh... my cloud feels so comfortable. it feels like somebody's hugging you. how can a bed do that? (vo) there's a tempur-pedic for everyone. find the feel that's right for you. and now through february 28th, save up to $300 on one of our most popular tempur-breeze mattress sets.
11:22 pm
11:23 pm
11:24 pm
by 1993, ruben cantu had spent eight years in solitary confinement while his appeals unfolded. >> i just wanted him to get out. you know, i would go over there, and i was scared, you know. it's jail, prison. i never been locked up. it was just scary. it was just terrifying. he's only like 20-something. i'm like, man, you know, when he gets out, we're going to go do this. we're going to go do that. >> ruben's appellate lawyer was determined to get ruben off death row. but in appeal after appeal, ruben's case was denied in both texas and federal courts. >> do you feel like anyone's taking your issues seriously? absolutely not. i would get more review on a car theft case than i would on a capital murder case in texas.
11:25 pm
>> ruben's lawyer felt the case against him was weak because the only evidence was juan moreno's testimony. >> and that was it. there was no other evidence in the case. no circumstantial evidence, no physical evidence, no firearm, no nothing. and that was the entirety of the state's case on a 17-year-old boy. zb >> but lack of evidence was not sufficient grounds to win an appeal. >> on appeal, guilt or innocence is never the issue. what our constitution promises every criminal defendant is a fair trial and because the trial was so clean, there was no basis, no error that had been committed during the course of the trial that would have justified a reversal. it was as clean as they come. >> in a last-ditch effort, ruben's lawyer requested a hearing in front of judge susan d. reid, a former prosecutor
11:26 pm
elected to the bench on a strong law-and-order platform. >> i have always believed that the death penalty is appropriate in certain cases. i was not in the district attorney's office when it was being tried, but i have no reason to believe it wasn't a fair trial, and i decided there was no cause to do an evidentiary hearing. everything that you're saying the court's already dealt with on your appeal, and so after the appellate courts have ruled, you have to give them a date. >> susan reed set an execution date for august 24th, 1993. ruben's last option was to appeal for clemency, but governors in texas had a notorious history with the death penalty. >> these hardened criminals will never again murder, rape, or deal drugs. as governor, i made sure they received the ultimate punishment, death. and texas is a safer place for it. >> your state has executed 234
11:27 pm
death row inmates. [ applause ] >> have you struggled to sleep at night? >> no, sir, i've never struggled with that at all. >> texans are hard-wired to support the death penalty. there may be a gene that is unique to people who are born and live in texas. we are programmed to believe that the death penalty is a necessary part of our criminal justice system. we love a good execution. >> since 1976, texas has executed well over 500 people, more than the next six states combined. >> since i've been governor, we have put 45 people to death. it is not something that anybody wants to deal with, but they won't commit another crime. >> the governor during ruben's clemency appeal was the colorful leader of the texas democrats,
11:28 pm
ann richards. >> poor george. he was born with a silver foot in his mouth. >> in texas, even liberal icon ann richards would not dispute the death penalty. on august 23rd, 1994, the day before he was to be executed, ruben cantu received the apply. clemency denied. >> a san antonio man continues to claim innocence just hours before he is set to die by lethal injection. >> on the day of his scheduled execution, local stations aired an interview with ruben where he again declared his innocence. >> by law standards my case is very legally insufficient for a capital murder conviction because of the eyewitness. just looking at his testimony, you don't know where he's coming from. >> but in the death house at huntsville, where all texas
11:29 pm
executions take place, preparations for ruben's execution proceeded. >> execution was at midnight in those days. >> reverend picket was chaplain at the prison for 16 years. >> ruben had been visiting with his family most of that day. >> they have different rooms and in each room they have phones. so all of us would be on the phone with ruben. he was in a single cell across from where he was sitting was the death chamber. he said that once that medicine ran through his veins, and he shut his eyes, that that's when he was going to grab god's hand and god was going to take him. then i hear noise in the background, and i asked him. he said they're setting up the equipment. and we're still waiting for that lawyer to call, hoping that it would stop. and then i guess around 11:45, they said that he had to leave. it was time to go. and he started praying. and he says, everything's going
11:30 pm
to be okay. and i was still hoping for that lawyer, just waiting for that call. you get hungry. and you count the seconds until red lobster's lobsterfest is back with the largest variety of lobster dishes of the year. like new dueling lobster tails with one tail stuffed with crab, and the other with langostino lobster mac-and-cheese, it's a party on a plate! and you know every bite of 'lobster lover's dream' lives up to its name. hey, eating is believing. so stop dreaming and start eating.
11:31 pm
my man, lemme guess who you're wearing... everyone's lookin' red carpet ready. toenail fungus!? whaaat?!? fight it! with jublia. jublia is a prescription medicine... ...used to treat toenail fungus. use jublia as instructed by your doctor. jublia is workin' it! most common side effects include... ...ingrown toenail, application site redness,... ...itching, swelling, burning... ...or stinging, blisters, and pain. oh!! fight it! with jublia! now that's a red carpet moment! ask your doctor if jublia is right for you. visit our website for savings on larger size.
11:32 pm
11:33 pm
it's gotten squarer. over the years. brighter. bigger. it's gotten thinner. even curvier. but what's next? for all binge watchers. movie geeks. sports freaks. x1 from xfinity will change the way you experience tv. ruben cantu was scheduled to be executed after midnight on august 24th, 1993.
11:34 pm
as the hour approached, ruben said goodbye to his family. >> they told him it was time. he just said, i love you all, and everything is going to be fine. they took him down the hallway, and he changed into a black outfit. we didn't hear from him anymore. >> he got down on the floor, and he prayed, and he rose up and said, i'm not innocent of sin, but i'm not guilty of this crime. right at 12:00, i said, you crawl up on the gurney. he said, okay. we strapped him down, and he's got nine straps on him. and i put my hand on his shoulder and said, okay, ruben. are you ready? i said, is there anything i can
11:35 pm
do for you now? he said, no. everything is going to be okay. >> we were having a candle light vig vigil. across the street from where we're at, there were a college of students having a big old party. kill him, hang him, all this stuff. you know, you're out there and you're looking at the clock, and you can't do anything. you're just helpless, powerless. >> i told him to put his head back and try to get all the air out of your lungs because that makes it go quicker. he had one small grunt, and he didn't make a sound. didn't move. he went ahead and went to heaven. >> there was guards on the towers, guards all over the place. finally the chaplain said that he had been killed, that he was
11:36 pm
dead. the lights came on. the cameras came on, and it's like they just won the super bowl over there. and my mom and my sister were just falling and crying, and my aunts and cameras everywhere. my mom had sent ruben a necklace with a cross. the chaplain came back. he handed it to my mom. that was it. [ speaking spanish ] >> she says that he's now resting. he's not in jail. at least he's free now. >> ruben cantu was an innocent man, young man. there was no evidence to convict him, nothing whatsoever, but he's executed. >> richard reyna was not able to save ruben's life because the naacp hadn't hired him to investigate the case until ten
11:37 pm
years after ruben's execution. >> as long as no one's held accountable, these things are going to continue. people are going to be falsely accused, sentenced to die, and even executed. >> my brother was innocent, and i just want his name cleared. when it all comes out, i want the state of texas to come out and make it public and apologize to our family. the district attorney's office started saying all we want is money. it ain't about the money. all the money in the world is not going to bring my brother back, but at least i'll have comfort knowing that he's been cleared. >> and while this case wasn't brought to lise olsen until 11 years after ruben was killed, for her the stakes were clear. >> there's never been an executed offender in modern history exonerated. that was something that would be historic, and it was going to be a story that was going to have
11:38 pm
reverberations. >> in 2005, after months of investigation, lise was ready to publish her articles about ruben cantu's innocence. but first, she had to confront former district attorney sam milsap. >> juan moreno retracting his testimony just destroyed the case. this was game-changing, and the person who could have changed this game was sam milsap, the elected district attorney, the person who decides whether we seek the death penalty in a capital murder case. so i drove to san antonio. >> lise was about to publicly challenge one of the biggest decisions of sam milsap's career. >> i had no way of anticipating his reaction, whether it was outrage, whether it was anger, whether it was i don't believe, it's all bull [ bleep ]. i was ready for just about anything. >> when i was contacted by lise olsen, whom i did not know, i had no idea that there had ever been a question about the result
11:39 pm
in the cantu case or that anybody was looking at it for that matter. >> i met with him in his office, in a quiet room. we spent an hour. i took it through him step by step, slowly. i showed him the fact that juan moreno had said that he had never believed that ruben cantu was the shooter, that he felt that he had to identify cantu because that's who police wanted him to identify. >> lise had also uncovered information about officers bill ewell and joe de la luz, who both had a vested interest in fingering ruben cantu as the killer. >> both bill ewell and joe de la luz had a history of disciplinary problems. bill ewell said to me that the reason that they took another look at ruben was this other shooting in the pool hall. >> a sense of dread came over sam milsap as he listened to lise's claims. >> in the middle of that, he
11:40 pm
sort of got this look on his face that was more than surprise. it was kind of anguish, i would say. >> when i looked at the file, i was horrified by what i saw. i don't think horrified is too strong a word. i could not believe that i had made the decision to prosecute a capital murder based on the testimony of a single eyewitness. and i said to lise that i had made a mistake. >> when he said he thought he made a mistake, i thought, wow, that's just amazing. that's not what i expected at all. in fact, i expected him to be defensive of his decision, to protect his own reputation. but he was just so floored because he had been at peace, i think, in his mind that he had made the right decision. >> there's not anything, i think, that could possibly be more difficult for a responsible
11:41 pm
prosecutor than the realization that he may be responsible for the execution of an innocent person. you know, i was always very proud of the fact that i was the district attorney when i was 35 years old. but the thing that i realized was that there was value to experience. i didn't know enough to realize that you shouldn't place the kind of weight that we placed on the testimony of a single eyewitness. that is just haunting. >> on the eve of november 20th, 2005, lise olsen was putting the finishing touches on her story, which was set to run on the front page of the next day's paper. >> amazingly, sam milsap was saying that he thought a mistake had been made, and that was definitely going to be a huge
11:42 pm
story. >> but lise's story was going to be more than just an expose about ruben cantu's innocence. lise was about to point to who she felt the real killer was. some more over there... whoa! that's not another blade. this is shielding. with lubrication here and here. the new gillette with proshield lubrication before and after the blades shields from irritation for a close, comfortable shave. the new proshield from gillette. the best a man can get. and one proshield refill gets you up to one month of shaves. twell what if i told you that peanuts can work for you? that's right. i'm talking full time delivery of 7 grams of protein and 6 essential nutrients. ever see a peanut take a day off? i don't think so. harness the hardworking power of the peanut. you can fly across welcome town in minutes16,
11:43 pm
or across the globe in under an hour. whole communities are living on mars and solar satellites provide earth with unlimited clean power. in less than a century, boeing took the world from seaplanes to space planes, across the universe and beyond. and if you thought that was amazing, you just wait. ♪ and feeling good, sort of.n and real, and 500 calories or less. the clean pairings menu. at panera. food as it should be. (singing alougetting to know you. getting to know all about you... getting to like you. getting to hope you like me... is someone getting to know your credit? not without your say so. credit lock lets you lock and unlock your transunion credit report with the swipe of a finger. getting to know you. getting to know all about you...
11:44 pm
get one-touch credit lock, plus your score and report at transunion.com get in the know.
11:45 pm
11:46 pm
on november 20th, 2005, lise olsen's story about the case for ruben cantu's innocence hit newsstands in texas. >> the san antonio express news and the "houston chronicle" both ran those stories on their front pages for two days in a row. juan moreno retracting his testimony was lightning story. it just went everywhere. it got picked up all over the country. >> as part of her story, lise's spoke with the accomplice to the murder, david garza, about who the real killer was. >> david took a plea for armed robbery, a lesser offense, and was sentenced to 20 years. he said ruben wasn't there that night. he said there was someone else with me. >> i don't plan on saying the
11:47 pm
name of the person that was with me, but i can assure you for a fact that it was not ruben cantu. the person that was with me is still out there. >> david garza confirmed to me that there was another boy who was about the same age as ruben, who had curly hair, a little lighter hair than ruben's. >> a boy with curly hair had also been mentioned by juan moreno when he spoke with richard reyna. [ speaking spanish ] >> but if ruben cantu was innocent, why did david garza allow ruben to be executed? >> david told me, we had a code of silence.
11:48 pm
we didn't talk. we knew that talking to the police would only get us in more trouble. >> me and ruben, we would never snitch each other off or anybody else involved. that was our loyalty, no matter who was involved. >> but another friend of david and ruben's did name names. ramiro reyes, who had curly hair, was brought in twice by police as a suspect in the murder before telling detectives that cantu had been the shooter. >> ramiro told the police that ruben confessed to him that he was the shooter. but consider who is saying that ruben confessed to them. do you think that ramiro is going to say, yeah, i did it? it's never going to happen. so he fixed it up pretty good for himself. you know, he shoved everything over to ruben. it wasn't me. it was ruben. >> but if ra nemiro did implica
11:49 pm
ruben for the murder, why was he never called to testify at cantu's trial? >> a transcript from a pretrial hearing reveals that before getting his statement, police beat and handcuffed ramiro without reading him his rights, threw him into a wall, and threatened to charge him with the offense. >> ramiro, we suspected, was the guy that did it. he had kinky hair. but the police just turned him loose. >> susan reed, the judge who signed ruben's death warrant, was now district attorney of san antonio. under pressure to respond to lise olsen's charges of misconduct, reed ordered an internal investigation. >> the way the case was being put out into the public was that juan moreno supposedly, according to the articles, was pressured into identifying
11:50 pm
somebody who was innocent of a crime in court. the police were being attacked for the method that they were using, that the police were using in their photo lineup. so we did an investigation. >> one of the questions for susan reed early on was, is it appropriate for your office to be involved in this investigation because she definitely had a stake in the case? >> there was no way that given that history, she could possibly be objective. sort of like grading your own paper, you know. >> they kept trying to knock me off this investigation. i think there were three different motions saying i shouldn't be conducting the investigation. it was kind of like i was under attack, too. >> but susan reed and her office had the power to fight back. not only would lise olsen soon feel threatened, but juan moreno would face possible prison time. .
11:51 pm
one second it's there. then, woosh, it's gone. i swear i saw it swallow seven people. seven. i just wish one of those people could have been mrs. johnson. [dog bark] trust me, we're dealing with a higher intelligence here. ♪ the all-new audi q7 is here. ♪ buying smartphones for the whole family is expensive. not at t-mobile® for a limited time, check out our half off smartphone event. get one of our most popular smartphones, and get the second one at half price. need more? buy another, and get the fourth phone at half price, too.
11:52 pm
smartphones like the samsung galaxy s6, note 5 and many more. hurry to t-mobile's half off smartphone event while it lasts and get the whole family a smartphone today.
11:53 pm
choose, choose, choose. but at bedtime... ...why settle for this? enter sleep number and the ultimate sleep number event, going on now. sleepiq technology tells you how well you slept and what adjustments you can make. you like the bed soft. he's more hardcore. so your sleep goes from good to great to wow! only at a sleep number store, right now save 50% on the ultimate limited edition bed. know better sleep with sleep number.
11:54 pm
lise olsen's reporting about texas possibly executing an innocent man in ruben cantu sent shock waves through the state. and district attorney susan reed responded by going on the offensive. >> susan reed, she went after
11:55 pm
lise first. they wanted to know her sources, and lise called me and said, they're going to take me before a grand jury, and if i don't disclose my information, i think that they're going to jail me. so i said, lise, just feel free to give them my name. that's okay. we have nothing to hide. >> richard agreed to meet with reed's investigators and shared his materials from the case. >> what we discovered was that juan moreno was literally manipulated by the investigator. the investigator worked on his wife, and he would send her flowers, and he'd phone call. he was taking them out to dinner. he was making payments to the family, and it was an extremely manipulative investigation. >> reed's report says that one moreno changed his story because i paid him. that's absurd. this is a hard-working man. now, if juan moreno says, okay, i'll spend a day with you, i
11:56 pm
need to reimburse him on whatever he loses. it's the standard thing to do. we've never had anyone, ever anyone, ever, ever question that except susan reed. >> juan moreno had absolutely nothing to gain by making a decision to go public with his story in the biggest newspaper in the state of texas is going to said that he identified the wrong person in a capital murder case, which he felt bad about. >> as far as susan reed was concerned, if juan's story about ruben's innocence was true, she would take aggressive action. >> i have very strong feelings that someone who commits perjury that results in someone being executed needs to be held accountable. my primary concern, when all of this arose, was is there sufficient cause to indict juan moreno for murder by perjury?
11:57 pm
>> susan reed suggested that they could get him, murder by perjury. i've never seen anybody charged with that, but juan moreno was intimidated badly. he was shaken scared. his wife was scared. their son was scared, and i felt terrible because i brought him out. >> i think she would have been better off if she hadn't talked about murder by perjury. i don't think anybody ever thought that was the smart thing to do. >> in the end, susan reed absolved the san antonio police department and juan more raid know of any wrongdoing, saying they had helped convict a guilty man, ruben cantu. opponents called the investigation blatantly biased and petitioned for an independent inquiry. susan reed, the district attorney of san antonio for 16 years, declined their request.
11:58 pm
with the government denying any fault in the execution of ruben cantu, ruben's family cannot sue for damages, and the cantus aren't the only ones who have struggled to move on. >> it certainly never occurred to me that we might have gotten it wrong in the cantu case. but the one thing that is abundantly clear to me today is that if anybody got it wrong, it was me. and the way i got it wrong is that i made a flawed decision, and that's a mistake in judgment that i will live with for the rest of my life. >> as for susan reed, the events of the ruben cantu case haven't shaken her belief in the death penalty. >> i have seen evil. i have tried cases of evil, evil people who are never going to change. and, therefore, they should be executed.
11:59 pm
>> the lord is my shepherd. i shall not want. he makes me to lie down in green pastures. he leads me beside the still waters. he restores -- >> ruben is five years older than me. as we were growing up, i would sleep next to him, and i always had to have my leg touching his leg because i wouldn't sleep. i was scared. i had to touch him until i fell asleep. >> yea though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death. >> later on i had dreams of him coming out and he and i hanging out together. >> my cup runneth over. surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and i will dwell in the house of the lord forever.
12:00 am
on this episode of "death row stories" young newlyweds are brutally murdered. >> herbert whitlock and randy stietle are charged with murder. the two had been suspects all along. >> they were clearly capable of committing murder. >> but with a man sentenced to death -- >> i've done some bad things in my life, but i've never done anything like this. >> -- and his own family doubting his innocence -- >> the illinois state police were involved, he's got to be guilty. >> one cop fights to reopen the case. >> you ask how is a murder too politically sensitive? why can't you speak out about corruption? this case stinks. >> there's a body in the water. >> he was butchered and murdered. >> many people proclaim their innocence. >> in this case, there are a number of things that stink. >> this

39 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on