June 4, 1997
Yes, I do.
If it matters to anyone, I did not
Brian, thank you for caring.
Dee Dee, you have been a good
sister to all of us.
Ana and Chico (not sure of name
he said), trust in God.
I will always love you, Lynn. I
will always love you.
Executed: June 4, 1997
Convicted along with three co-defendants in the rape
and murder of 15-year-old Olga Perales near San Benito. Perales was
stabbed twice in the chest and abdomen and beaten around the head
with a pipe. She had been raped repeatedly before her death.
In the late night hours of Dec. 23, 1984, four
teenage males savagely took the life of a 15-year-old girl from San
Benito, Texas when they brutally raped and murdered her.
Davis Losada, 19 years old at the time of the murder,
was the oldest of the four teens who were convicted of beating,
raping and murdering Olga Lydia Perales. Perales’s naked body was
found in a brushy area between San Benito and Harlingen, Texas on
Christmas Eve with two stab wounds to the chest. She also had a
fractured skull from being struck 20 to 30 times on the head and
abdomen with a table leg.
Perales’ wet clothes were found in a river near where
she was murdered. The knife and table leg used to beat and stab her
were found in the wooded area near her body.
The four males picked up Perales from a party after
they had been drinking beer and smoking marijuana. Autopsies
reported that the two stab wounds, one that Losada was proven to
have inflicted, did not cause Perales to die, but did show intent to
In early January 1985, Rafael Leyva Jr., 17,
confessed to his involvement in Perales’s murder to his parole
officer for fear of conviction. Leyva’s juvenile attorney at the
time, Horatio Barrera, negotiated a plea bargain for him. In return
for testimony against the other three, Leyva would serve only 20
years on charges of aggravated sexual assault. With this information,
Losada was arrested on Jan. 13, 1985.
The lead trial prosecutor in Losada’s case, Mervyn
Mosbacker, said police suspected Losada was involved in Perales’s
murder but could not have cracked the case without Leyva’s
Jose Luis Peña was Leyva’s first attorney appointed
by 197th District Judge Darrell Hester at Leyva’s
arraignment April 2, 1985. A week later, Peña was switched from
representing Leyva to representing Losada. In a statement of facts
from Peña in August of that same year, he wrote that he was switched
to represent Losada because the court was going to keep Barrera to
be Leyva’s adult felony attorney. Although Hester knew Peña had
already conversed with Leyva about events of the murder and who was
involved, he proceeded to have Peña represent Losada.
In an interview from his office in McAllen, Texas,
one of Losada’s appeals attorneys Joseph Connors III said that
Losada was kept on the case because he was a new attorney and was
already familiar with the details of the case.
Connors said Pena never voiced that his representing
Losada was a conflict of interest due to having represented Leyva
beforehand and having received information of Losada’s involvement
from Leyva. Connors said that Pena believed attorney-client
privilege lasted until the client’s death and it was not until after
Connors was Losada’s appeals attorney, that Connors said Peña
disclosed information that said he was not able to fairly represent
told attorney Connors that I felt my attorney-client relationship
with Rafael Leyva no longer existed since I am not an attorney
anymore,” Pena wrote in his statement of facts. “My representation
of Rafael Leyva was brief but detrimental to the petitioner
[Losada]. Should another trial be set, I would assure a different
and favorable result for the petitioner.”
Pena was disbarred May 1994 on charges unrelated to Losada’s case.
Losada’s trial began on June 14, 1985 and lasted through June 18,
1985. Losada did not testify on his own behalf. In less than an hour,
on June 19, 1985, Losada, 20, was convicted of capital murder and
sentenced to death.
Losada’s first appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas was
heard in October of 1986. His death sentence was not revoked.
Losada appealed his death sentence several time, the last one to the
Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on May 1, 1996. Losada was
denied on all accounts.
Texas’s first double execution in 21 and a half years occurred
Wednesday, June 4, 1997 when Losada was executed just over an hour
after convicted murderer, Dorsie Johnson-Bey. Both were executed by
Losada, 32, declined his last meal and was pronounced dead at 7:30
p.m. with five of his relatives looking on. His death was the
twentieth execution in Texas in 1997, equaling a single year record
set in 1935. In a brief statement, Losada thanked his sister for
being, “a good sister to all of us.” He urged his family to trust in
God and proclaimed, “If it matters to anyone, I did not kill Olga.”
Jesus ROMERO, Petitioner-Appellee, Cross-Appellant,
James A. LYNAUGH, Director, Texas Department of Corrections,
Jesus Romero's role in the
rape and slaying of Olga Lydia Perales are set out in the
opinion of the Court of Criminal Appeals:
[Romero], along with Jose
Cardenas, Davis Losada and Rafael Leyva were indicted for the
offense of capital murder of the victim, a fifteen-year-old
junior high student in San Benito. Said offense was alleged to
have occurred on December 23, 1984.
Codefendant Leyva, who was
sixteen years of age at the time, went to his juvenile probation
officer on January 8, 1985 and reported the instant offense.
Texas Ranger Bruce Casteel, District Attorney Alvarado and an
attorney for Leyva, Horacio Berrera (who continued to represent
Leyva) were summoned. Leyva made a statement at that time about
the offense in which he admitted his presence at the offense but
denied any other involvement.
At trial Leyva testified on
behalf of the State. The testimony of Leyva at trial reflected
A party, which was attended by
the deceased, was held at Ray Amaya's house in San Benito on the
night in question. Cardenas, Losada and [Romero] approached
Leyva in downtown San Benito in Cardenas' car and invited him to
go to a party with them.
Prior to arrival at Amaya's
house they went "cruising" for about an hour during which time
all of them were drinking beer and smoking marijuana. Upon
arrival at Amaya's house it was discovered that the party had
broken up and only Amaya and the deceased were present. The
deceased came out and "started going to the car slowly ... all
of a sudden Jesse [Romero] pushed the girl [the deceased] inside
the car." Cardenas was in the driver's seat and [Romero] pushed
the deceased into the passenger side of the front seat. "Jesse
[Romero] was holding the girl's head down.... He was holding it
with the right hand on her head pushing to her knees ... he was
telling her just to keep quiet." The testimony of Leyva reflects
that they drove to a place beside the lake called La Piedra.
During that time [Romero] was holding the deceased's head down
and telling her to be quiet. The deceased was asking to "leave
her alone" and "take her home." Davis Losada first had sex with
the deceased. Davis put "a knife to her neck ... and she got on
'four' giving Davis a blow job ... the girl was saying to take
her home and just to leave her alone and Davis was telling her
to shut up and if she didn't shut up something was going to
happen to her, and the girl was kind of like weeping ..."
[Romero] "unzipped his pants
and got inside the car while the girl was on 'four,' and still
gave Davis the blow job, he got in through the back and started
having sex with her." After [Romero] finished, Leyva "started
having sex with her in the back." The deceased continued to ask
to be taken home and Cardenas removed a pipe from the car that "looked
like a baseball bat." A discussion ensued as to whether the
deceased would tell anyone and the deceased insisted that she
would keep quiet and say nothing.
Leyva testified that he told
the others that she would keep quiet and they kept telling him "That's
no good. She's going to say something and we are going to get in
trouble." Cardenas handed Leyva the pipe and Leyva hit the girl
on the forehead with the pipe. The deceased did not fall down
and [Romero] grabbed the pipe out of Leyva's hand and "started
hitting the girl ... he was hitting her head with both hands on
the pipe." The deceased fell to the ground after [Romero] hit
her the second time and after she fell to the ground Romero hit
her "three or four or five times at the most." The girl stopped
making noise after [Romero] "finished hitting her." Someone else
hit her "three or four times." Leyva then observed Cardenas
hitting the girl "with both hands on the pipe." "Jesse [Romero]
was giggling while he was hitting the girl." Losada told Leyva
to "grab the girl." Losada and [Romero] "both came at me with
knives." [Romero] then observed the girl move and Losada said "Just
to make sure she's dead, I'll stab her." Losada again told Leyva
to drag the girl into the bushes and after dragging her "halfway,"
Davis told [Romero] "to give me a hand" and "my [sic] and Jesse
[Romero] dragged the girl way back in the bushes." [Romero] with
a knife in his hand told Leyva "Stab her or I'll stab you."
Leyva stabbed the girl "from the waist to her chest" and gave
the knife back to [Romero].
Leyva and his three companions
returned to the car and they left the scene and Losada said, "We
all did it, you know. Everybody had a part in it." Losada threw
the knife "into some canal." [Romero] then handed his knife to
Losada so he could throw it out. Cardenas stopped on a bridge
and Losada threw the girl's clothes out. Leyva was instructed by
Losada to not tell anyone that they were together. The remaining
three were going to say "all we know is that we dropped the girl
off at the Azteca." Losada warned Leyva "Just keep your mouth
shut and if you don't the same thing is going to happen to you."
[Romero] made a written
confession, the following portions of which were admitted into
Omitting the warning and
formal parts, the confession recites:
The party started to break up
around 11:00 or 11:30 p.m. We left in Joe's [Cardenas] car. Joe
was driving. Davis [Losada] and Rafa [Leyva] were in the back
seat. We drove out to what is known as La Piedra and drove down
a narrow road from a bigger road for approximately one city
block in distance. Davis, with the knife in one hand, forced [deceased]
to make out with him, Rafa made out with her, then Joe made out
with her. Davis got a pipe and started hitting [deceased] about
the head. Rafa hit her also. Joe did hit her. Afterwards, [deceased]
was laying there and Davis stabbed her. After Davis stabbed her
Rafa got a hold of one leg and I got a hold of the other leg and
we pulled her into the bushes. I don't know what happened to the
pipe and didn't see it anymore when we left the area.
When we left the area Joe was
driving. Rafa and I were in the back seat, and Davis was in the
front passenger side. As we traveled down a dirt road, Davis got
rid of the knife that was used to stab [deceased] and also got
rid of another knife. He did this by throwing the knives out the
window. We then traveled some more and we then stopped on a
small bridge that goes over a drainage ditch there by the
overpass that is close to the Valley Buick Company located just
southeast of San Benito. When we stopped there Davis gave Rafa
some other items and Rafa threw those out in the drainage ditch
Rafa was dropped off first by
the Bertha Cavazos School.
"I have been shown two photos
by Investigator Joe Alvarado of the District Attorney's Office
and I have identified both pictures as being # 1, that of [deceased],
the way we left her that night there in the bushes. Photo # 2 is
the way we left [deceased] after Rafa and I dragged her into the
bushes. I have initialed, dated, and placed the time on both
A search of [Romero's]
residence resulted in the recovery of a man's "blooded underwear"
at the bottom of a garbage bag. Raul Guajardo, a chemist with
the Department of Public Safety, testified his analysis revealed
that human blood was on the sides of the underwear. The findings
were consistent with either Type A or Type AB. Blood samples
from the deceased and [Romero] were both type A. Blood samples
of the three codefendants showed all of them to be type O.