April 16, 2014

Jose Villegas, Jr. has been executed by the state of Texas.  Read the story here.


March 16, 2014


Jose Luis Villegas Jr.’s execution is scheduled for 6 pm CST, on April 16, 2014, at the Walls Unit of the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas.  Thirty-eight-year-old Jose is convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend, 24-year-old Erida Perez Salazar; Erida’s son, 3-year-old Jacob Salazar; and Erida’s mother, 51-year-old Alma Perez.  The murders occurred in Nueces County, Texas.  Jose has spent the last 11 years of his life on Texas’ death row.


Jose did not have an easy childhood.  His mother died a prolonged and painful death from scleroderma.  She had a total of 18 amputations before her death.  Jose’s father was an alcoholic and abusive to his children.  At least two family members had concerns over Jose’s mental health as a child.  Later, Jose would be identified as having intermittent explosive, post-traumatic stress, dissociative, and major depressive disorders.  Additionally, Jose was addicted to cocaine marijuana, and alcohol.  Jose dropped out of school after the ninth grade and worked various jobs prior to being arrested.


Around 5:00 am, on January 22, 2001, Jose Villegas and Erida Perez Salazar used approximately $200 of cocaine at Erida's house.  When Alma Perez arrived at the house after taking her granddaughter to school, she discovered Villegas in the house.  She had previously warned Erida to not let him into the house.  Alma ordered Villegas to leave the house.  Villegas grabbed a knife and stabbed Alma 35 times.  He then went into the bedroom and stabbed Erida 32 times and Jacob 19 times.  Villegas stole Erida’s vehicle and a television, which he sold for more cocaine.


Alma’s husband, Lionicio Perez returned to the home around 9:15 am and found the bodies of Alma, Erida, and Jacob, all bruised and lying in pools of blood.  Lionicio ran to a neighbor’s house and called the police.  The neighbor told police that she had seen Villegas leaving the Perez’s house around 8:45 am.


Around 9:30 am, police spotted Villegas in Erida’s vehicle.  Villegas led police on a high speed chase and foot pursuit before they finally caught him.  Found in his possession was three baggies of cocaine.  Villegas confessed to the murders after being arrested and informed of his rights.  Villegas also claimed he was going to use the cocaine to commit suicide by overdosing, but fled when he saw police at the house.


Jose Villegas was found guilty on May 16, 2002.  During sentencing, it was revealed that this was not Villegas’s first encounter with the police.  His other crimes include numerous assaults against family members, terroristic threats, a burglary and a shoplifting charge, and one incident of indecency with his five-year-old daughter.  Additionally, Villegas had problems following the rules of his probation.


Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Alma, Erida, and Jacob.  Please pray for strength for the family of Jose Villegas.  Please pray that Jose may come to find a peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already found one.