Death sentence appeal
Kerrville Daily Times
October 18, 2006
Attorneys will continue the
fight this morning to appeal Ramiro Hernandez's
The 37-year-old Mexican national was convicted
6 years ago of murdering former Schreiner
College professor Glen H. Lich in 1997 at his South Kerr
2 psychologists testified before Judge Steve
Ables that they believe Hernandez is
mentally retarded, a condition which could give him a
reprieve from the capital murder death sentence handed down
in the 216th District Court in 2000.
A 2002 Supreme Court decision ruled that the
death sentence is cruel and unusual
punishment for a mentally retarded person.
Dr. Antonio Puerto, a psychologist and
professor at the University of North
Carolina- Wilmington, told the court he has evaluated Hernandez
during several visits during the past 3 years.
"I feel, having known him as a child, I have a
fairly good understanding of who this
person is," Puerto said. Part of his information is based on
interviews with Hernandez and several of his siblings.
Puerto and Hernandez's sister, both testified
Tuesday that Hernandez was beaten,
sometimes severely, by his mother.
"He's at the bottom in the United States, and
hes at the bottom of the dump in Mexico.
How low can you go?" Puerto said.
Supporting his position that Hernandez is
mildly retarded, Puerto said in
psychological tests he carried out, the defendant achieved only a
second-grade to third-grade reading level.
Under cross-examination from District Attorney
Bruce Curry, Puerto testified that
protracted drug use could influence the results of
psychological tests. This echoed earlier testimony from
psychologist Gilbert Martinez of San
Puerto testified that Hernandez told him he
used drugs before he was put in prison in
Mexico, at age 20, for his part in a murder. Hernandez
escaped from the Mexican prison and came to the United
Curry asked the psychologists if Hernandez
could be faking his test performances.
"If he faked me out, I need to close the book
and go home," Puerto said. "I feel
confident if there was some problem there it would have been
The hearing will resume this morning in Kerr