Delacruz Defense Attorney Points Finger at Murdered Child's Mother
SAN ANGELO, TX -- Tanya Bermea played a role in her daughter’s death according to Isidro Delacruz’s defense attorney William Boyles in his opening statement to the jury Monday afternoon.
Boyles told the 12 jurors and two alternates seated Monday morning that evidence and testimony would show that while Delacruz was present when 5-year-old Naiya Villegas’s throat was cut, the child’s mother was in and out of the house as well. He also told the jury that, “What happened that night should not have happened.” and there was “a bunch of substance abuse involved.”
“Isidro Delacruz is here to answer for his part in that night. He is responsible for his part, but there are missing pieces in the evidence and they are important. A missing piece might mean it is not capital murder.” said Boyles.
Before the defense made its opening statement, District Attorneys began the trial with the prosecution’s opening statement. District Attorney Allison Palmer said of the evidence the jury will hear, “It’s not going to be easy for you. It’s not going to be easy for me.” Palmer told jurors they will hear from law enforcement witnesses and the medical examiner and see photos of the crime scene and of a dead 5-year-old girl.
Palmer told jurors, “In the early morning hours (Sept. 2, 2014) she (Naiya) was awakened and she was murdered. Her mother had a relationship with Isidro. Naiya trusted Isidro and he betrayed her trust in him.”
The afternoon began with almost 200 potential witnesses being sworn in. District Judge Ben Woodward swore in the witnesses, admonishing them not to talk about the case or their testimony and not to read any news reports about the trial.
After opening statements, D.A. Palmer called her first witness, Dawna Robbins, who was the night shift supervisor for the San Angelo Police Department’s 911 Dispatch. Robbins took two calls that night according to her testimony. One was from Naiya’s grandmother Susie Bermea and the other was from a neighbor.
Palmer introduced audio recordings of the 911 calls building a base of credibility for the prosecution’s evidence. Palmer then called Brad Van Zandt, owner of Parrot’s Head Bar, to the stand. He testified that he provided video surveillance from his security cameras to police.
Palmer’s next witness was George Rodriguez, who owned SNG Satellite in 2014. He testified that he provided video from his security system which backs up to Houston St. where the murder occurred.
The District Attorney then called her own investigator Paul Dyer. Dyer provided two enlarged photos of google maps of the house on Houston St. and other locations connected to the murder.
The jury was then dismissed and will return to the Tom Green County Courthouse for more testimony from the prosecution Tuesday morning.
Once the jury was dismissed, attorneys argued before the Judge about expert witness qualifications to testify and a defense motion to suppress evidence.
Palmer called SAPD Sgt. Doug Thomas to the witness stand. Thomas is a trained blood stain patterns expert. The D.A. questioned him about his qualifications and experience. Defense attorney Robert Cowie objected to Thomas being called to testify as an ‘expert witness’ saying his testimony didn’t prove he was qualified to testify as an expert.
Palmer then called SAPD crime scene technician Deanna Garcia who is also a blood stain patterns expert. Defense attorney Cowie also objected to Garcia testifying as an expert witness.
After Thomas and Garcia left the stand, Judge Woodward heard the defense’s objections to two statements taken from Delacruz the day he was arrested. According to Cowie, Delacruz said, “I don’t want to talk anymore, you lied to me.”
Judge Woodward will rule on the motions when the trial resumes on Tuesday. Delacruz faces the death penalty of convicted of capital murder.