Convicted Child Murderer Delacruz’s Blood Alcohol Level was 3 Times Over the Legal Limit
SAN ANGELO, TX -- Convicted capital murderer Isidro Delacruz’s blood alcohol level was .27 which is three times over the legal limit according to an expert witness on the stand in the punishment phase of his trial.
Wilkie Wilson, Ph. D. is a neuropharmacologist and a professor at Duke University in North Carolina. He was called to the witness stand by defense attorneys Will Boyles and Rob Cowie in one of the final days of the punishment phase of Delacruz’s capital murder trial. A jury found him guilty of capital murder and is now hearing testimony on his sentence.
Wilson testified that Delacruz had a blood alcohol level of .15 at 7 a.m. Sept. 2, 2014 when his blood was drawn at San Angelo Community Medical Center. Wilson told jurors that was twice the legal limit five hours after authorities know he had his last drink. By just after 2:30 a.m. that morning, Delacruz was on video in the back seat of a patrol car in front of the house on Houston St.
Wilson said Delacruz weighed about 140 pounds at the time of the murder and calculating from the 7 a.m. known blood alcohol level, he estimated that Delacruz would have had a blood alcohol level of .27 or three times the legal limit when he killed Naiya Villegas. Earlier testimony showed Delacruz on video at Parrot’s Head Tavern at 1:45 a.m. where he had his last drink.
Wilson testified that he interviewed Delacruz in the Tom Green County Jail and that Delacruz was an alcoholic. Delacruz told Wilson that he drank 21 beers that night and Wilson told jurors that was consistent with his blood alcohol level.
There were four witnesses on the stand Friday. The first was Wilson followed by Delacruz’s cousin Renata Hernandez. Hernandez testified that there was a lot of drama at the Delacruz home and Isidro’s mother treated him and his brothers differently. According to Hernandez, Elizabeth Delacruz treated her youngest son better than Isidro or his older brother Chris. Hernandez cried when defense attorneys reminded her that the jury found Delacruz guilty of capital murder and would sentence him to either life in prison without parole or the death penalty.
Delacruz’s mother Elizabeth ‘Lisa’ Delacruz was next on the witness stand. Lisa Delacruz testified that her son Isidro was a good person and was a happy child. She told jurors Isidro had a speech impediment when he first started school and had to go to the West Texas Rehabilitation Center for treatment. She said the speech impediment went away as he grew older.
When questioned about Child Protective Services removing her three children for six months when Isidro was 19 months old, Lisa Delacruz said, “I did not abuse my son!” The children were returned to the Delacruz home after Lisa and Juan Delacruz completed parenting classes and Juan’s mother moved in with them as required by CPS.
Lisa Delacruz continued testifying about Isidro’s learning disability. She said she referred him for special education testing because he struggled in school. Earlier testimony showed Isidro tested low in writing and was allowed special accommodations in the regular classroom. He passed all the tests required to graduate from Lake View High School in 2010.
Lisa Delacruz seemed to be confused about Isidro’s age when he graduated. She testified that he was born in 1990 and that he graduated in 2010. Under cross examination from 51st District Attorney Allison Palmer, Lisa Delacruz testified that Isidro graduated when he was 18 years old. Palmer asked her a second time how old he was and Lisa firmly answered that he was 18. Palmer said that if he was born in 1990 and graduated in 2010, he was 20-years-old when he graduated.
In another exchange between Palmer and Lisa Delacruz, Palmer asked if Lisa remembered that in August of 2014 at a bond hearing to get Isidro released from jail Lisa testified that she would do everything she could do to keep Isidro away from Tanya Bermea. Lisa said Friday she didn’t remember saying that. Palmer brought up the court testimony on a laptop computer and showed it to Lisa Delacruz, who still said she didn’t remember saying that but admitted that was what the legal document stated.
Lisa had testified that she didn’t know where Isidro was that Monday night when he was out drinking and broke into Tanya Bermea's house and cut the throat of her daughter, Niaya Villegas, killing her.
Defense attorneys showed Lisa Delacruz photographs of Isidro Delacruz and his brothers Lorenzo and Chris when they were very young. One photograph showed them in front of a Christmas tree. Defense attorney Rob Cowie asked Lisa Delacruz about that. She said she baptized as a Jehovah’s Witness in 2001 and that was the last Christmas tree the boys had because she didn’t believe in celebrating Christmas as a Jehovah’s Witness.
The night of the murder, Lisa Delacruz can be heard at the scene on in-car video yelling, “Isidro what did you do?” She told jurors Friday that she loved her son and she just wanted to know he was okay. She testified that she went to the scene to make sure that police wouldn’t shoot and kill her son.
The final witness called by defense attorneys on Friday was Isidro Delacruz’s cousin Hope Cline. Cline testified that when she was a teenager her family lived down the street from the Delacruz home and that they ate many meals there. Cline told jurors she witnessed verbal arguments at the Delacruz home but not any physical abuse.
Cline cried when Cowie told her that the jury had found Isidro Delacruz guilty of capital murder. Delacruz cried as well.
Testimony ended at about 12:40 p.m. and will resume Monday at 9:15 a.m. Defense attorneys are expected to call two final witnesses and then rest their case on Monday. Attorneys Friday afternoon worked on the jury’s instructions with District Judge Ben Woodward.