Breaking: After nine hours of deliberations in the punishment phase of the capital murder trial of Isidro Delacruz, the jury returned a verdict of "Death" shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday. Jurors were unanimous that he was a threat to society and he had moral culpability. Heavy security is at the Tom Green County Courthouse. Automatic appeal will happen to the Texas court of criminal appeals. There were no outbursts in the courtroom.

The jury had fajitas from Henry’s for dinner and were paid $40 per day for their service.

Here is how the day unfolded, reported as it happened. For more a complete view and analysis, see this link.

SAN ANGELO, TX — Will Isidro Delacruz live or die? That is the question 12 jurors at the Tom Green County Courthouse are now deliberating in the punishment phase of the capital murder trial that has captivated San Angelo for months.

Delacruz was convicted of murdering 5-year-old Naiya Villegas in the early morning hours of Sept. 2, 2014 with a butcher knife. He cut her throat in two places, the jury found. The guilty verdict was handed down March 29. Since then, jurors have listened to arguments from the defense and prosecution to decide whether Delacruz gets life in prison without parole or the death penalty.

Closing arguments in the punishment phase ended at 10:32 a.m. Tuesday morning. But before the jury retired into the jury room to begin deliberation, District Judge Ben Woodward told the jury to consider two special issues in his final instructions. First, does Delacruz have the moral capability to precludes a sentence of life without parole? Second, is Delacruz a continuing threat to society?

The 51st District Attorney Allison Palmer began final arguments by going over the charge then let the defense close.

Defense attorney Will Boyles told jurors they already sentenced Delacruz to die in prison. His co-counsel, Rob Cowie, reminded jurors that Delacruz was abused as a child, had a learning disability, and didn’t have the coping skills to make good decisions, but he was respectful towards jailers and loved by his family and friends. He asked them for a life sentence.

Palmer then got her final chance. She read jurors Delacruz’s arrest records and parole violations and said he had chance after chance and never took personal responsibility for his actions. She said he was a continuing threat to society because he made shanks in jail and made an escape attempt. She also reminded jurors Delacruz decided 5-year-old Naiya would die that night. He knew the way to hurt Tanya the worst was through Naiya, Palmer concluded.

A death or life without parole sentence can be returned by the jury any time now. Our reporter at the courthouse said it may be as soon as after lunch Tuesday.

Update 1:40 p.m.

The jury asked to look at some evidence;  the in car videos from the scene, Facebook messages and the three shanks.  The judge cleared the courtroom so the bailiff could show the videos.  The jury also asked about a definition of the word ‘society ‘.  Judge Woodward instructed the jury to give that word its common meaning.  After viewing the videos the jury will return to the jury room to continue deliberations.  

Update 6:30 p.m.

Jurors were allowed to go outside for a short break at 5:50 pm.  They came back in at 6:00 p.m.  Then the judge held a hearing at 6:07 p.m. to answer questions.  The jury asked if they could see an outside source and the  judge said State law doesn’t allow that.  Then they asked to contact family.  The judge said the court would contact their families and let them know the trial was continuing this evening.  The jurors will eat dinner in the jury room while they continue to deliberate.  Delacruz parents and brother are waiting and friends of Naiya s family are waiting on the jury’s decision as well.

For the end-of-court wrap-up, see this link.

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So, we will probably have to keep him up the rest of his life. He couldn't write...because he didn't want to learn how. His disabilities did not seem that drastric, not really mentally challenged....just didn't want to do any of it. He had resourses and help, so he didn't just fall throug the cracks. To no avail....his choice. They did however, manage to boost him on out of high school. He is a waste to society and I believe a threat to society, doubt very seriously he will quit drinking and drugs. And, apparently vengeful and danger when drinking. Why do we think we have to babysit these people the rest of their lives?

Thank you to the jurors for giving this scum just what he deserves! It may take a while to finally get him put down but he is definitely headed to where he belongs....HELL!!! I hope while waiting to get his death injection other prisoners will have their "turn" with him, he deserves NO MERCY!!!! May he burn slowly when he gets to HELL!!!

Today's correctional system is the fruit and model of the primitive idea of barter -- the idea that everything has an equivilant and can be paid for. With this fallacious notion, a community's outcry for justice is pacified with the promise, that though the murderer continues to walk the same Earth and breathe the same air as ourselves, that our judicial system has surely slapped a reasonable price tag on his actions, and he'll be 'paying his debt to society' from the confines of prison walls.

We're asked to accept a uniform method of atonement by a person who is more than likely only sorry he was caught, rather than sorry he committed his transgressions. In the end we have an overestimation of the value of the criminal's life, and a gross underestimation of the value of the victim's.

Isidro will be fed, sheltered and given free medical care. Though limited, he'll have recreational activities and a reasonable expectation of security and protection from harm. When his day arrives, he'll be allowed to say his goodbyes to family members, given a meal of his choice and a forum to express his thoughts before a sterilized needle is introduced into his arm.

This, apparently is the price tag on the life of 5 year old Naiya.

Isirdo saw himself above and beyond the petty confines of moral thought, in consideration to his treatment of Naiya. With this in mind, an absence of "morality", too, should be exercised while considering and carrying out his disposal.

A morally bankrupt criminal never truly repays their debts to society. They simply take out loans while the state hands us the bill.

Andres Ramirez is next! Justice for my daughter Camille Garcia! And all women who cowards like him hurt and kill!

Although nothing will make the loss hurt any less for you, rest assured that God's eyes see all and that he is in control of all of the authorities involved. Keep your head on as straight as you can through it and know that our prayers go out for you. So sorry for your loss!

MjNS, Wed, 04/18/2018 - 07:30

I figured life in prison. A verdict of death will just mean this case will be tied up in appeals forever and a day. Just throw him in prison and be done with it...

Today's justice system has it's roots in the Bible, the Pilgrims came over from England in horrible conditions to escape the persecution of the church of England. In 1620, the Mayflower compact was signed by the folks on the voyage, it was a set of rules for self governance that they created to quell a rebellion from it's own midst that said they would live in accordance of the Christian faith, create one society and work to further it and create laws for the colony and abide by those laws... It was the inspiration for what we now have as our Declaration of Independance and our Bill of Rights shortly after... The founding fathers of our great nation were men who believed in God and set up laws based upon Christian principles... Slowly we have allowed their intentions and meanings to become distorted and taken out of context... The version of "American history" in today's culture confuses religious tolerance with pluralism and the leveling of all religions... The founders wrote the first amendment to to protect the church, it was meant to keep the federal government from declaring a national religion... While our founders would have not persecuted those with no religion or a different one, they would have "tolerated" them without making concessions for them in the Christian faith and daily life. This country has it's foundation laid upon the God of the Bible and that's that, nothing can change the truth, we were never meant to allow every religion to be considered equal because they're not, there is only one mediator between God and man and that is Jesus Christ who loved us while we were yet sinners and died on a cross to save us from the death we deserve... I don't think we should persecute other religions or those of no faith either but as Americans it isn't for them to be considered equal and have the same amount of reverence due just because they exist. Tolerated? Ok, you as an American can be whatever faith you want but I won't let you step on my freedoms and claim to be equal.
Without these founding principles coming from the Bible, we wouldn't have the justice system you see today, if you think that it's imperfect go to Brazil for a couple of weeks or maybe El Salvador and then tell me how much it stinks that we have to "foot the bill" for punishing criminals like Delacruz.

I've remained silent while awaiting the verdict, but now that the jury has returned with what I agree is the appropriate sentence, I'll put in my two cents worth, while trying to avoid turning this forum into my personal pulpit. The defendant, now convict, was afforded a multi- attorney defense team at taxpayer expense, as well as the right to a speedy trial. It is my modest opinion that we, as taxpayers, and the family of the murdered child should be afforded the right to a speedy execution of the guilty. The appeals process for death row inmates should be streamlined in cases like this one, where there is no doubt as to the culpability of the convicted. There is no possibility that 10 or 20 years from now, DNA or retracted testimony will exonerate him. Blue Collar comedian Ron White once claimed that Texas has an express lane for death row inmates, and Delacruz should be in it.

and religious tolerance is a completely different thing. unless that religion causes millions of people to die, which abrahamic religions seem to specialize in (especially the one with the bomb jackets). freedom of religion may have brought the pilgrims here but had far less to do with the eventual political revolution that our country was founded on. you can owe that to men like john locke and especially thomas paine's 'common sense' and 'the rights of man'. our government is in no way based upon a book written by some old jewish dudes 5000 years ago, except maybe 'in god we trust'. and we should be thankful, since god personally kills over 2 million people in the bible. and those ten commandments? common sense, bro.

If you're going to cut and paste your responses that aren't scripture, you should cite those as well - cause you know, stealing is a sin.

MjNS, Thu, 04/19/2018 - 16:23

You can always count on the nutbar religion posts. Religion is fine, but it`s like dirty underwear, don`t wave it in my face!

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