07-02-2012, 07:44 PM #1
TX - Hermila Hernandez, 31, found murdered, South Padre Island, 30 Sept 2005
BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) — Shortly after her daughter was shot to death by a former lover, Hermila Garcia remembers hearing these comforting words from the local Texas prosecutor: "I am the state. I am the law. I am going to represent and defend your daughter."
Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos' office did secure a murder conviction and 23-year prison term against Amit Livingston, but federal prosecutors allege he also orchestrated a scheme to line his own pockets that allowed Livingston to escape. Five years later, the killer remains at large.
A dozen people, half lawyers, have been indicted as part of a federal probe into what some observers call the most widespread case of judicial corruption they've ever seen. The saga has gripped the community in this southernmost tip of Texas.
More at link....
07-03-2012, 08:25 AM #2
Here's a link to a series of articles on this guy. This is a huge, huge case in Brownsville. Not just this case, but a whole series of alleged crimes and pay-back and back-room dealing on the judicial level in Brownsville. The whole mess has been under investigation for four years. Who knows how many criminals and crimes have gone unpunished or swept under the rug. There's lawyers, judges, da's involved.
07-04-2012, 02:41 PM #3
Thanks for that link, fran! I just read one of the lastest that says even with all the charges against him the county commission did not vote for Villalobos to resign!
Vote split on call for Villalobos' resignation
Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos, under indictment for racketeering and other crimes, has been spared a call for his resignation by the county Commissioners Court.
A motion asking him to voluntarily step down failed on a 2-2 vote at a meeting Thursday morning.
Villalobos faces federal charges for racketeering, extortion and honest services fraud, stemming from an indictment related to the corruption case of former state District Judge Abel Limas. Villalobos has pleaded not guilty.
Cascos said there was no legal way for the Commissioners Court to require Villalobos to resign.
“I support asking him to step down, but I’m also cognizant that it has no teeth to it,” Cascos said of the motion.
He said he believes Villalobos cannot effectively run the DA’s office, particularly when he was seen attending the Marchan trial and thus was not at his office.
“I believe the office is in somewhat disarray,” Cascos said.
More at link....
07-04-2012, 03:32 PM #4
Indictment against Villalobos:
Many have to participate to bypass court safeguards
Monday’s indictment of Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos adds to the expanding corruption case involving former District Judge Abel C. Limas. And as alarming as the allegations that the county’s top prosecutor conspired to corrupt the county’s justice system are, many people aren’t surprised. In fact, rumors of his impending indictment have circulated for months.
Certainly, that doesn’t mean that the rumors are true — nor does his federal indictment, along with local lawyer Eddie Lucio. They’re accused of both taking and making bribes in return for favorable court resolutions for several defendants. Villalobos also is accused of steering defendants and plaintiffs toward Lucio, his former law partner. Lucio isn’t related to the state representative and state senator who have the same name.
More at link....
Delay granted in Villalobos' racketeering trial
More snapshots: Villalobos, Brooks, an ex-wife
A political contribution, alleged payment for the dismissal of a DWI charge and the name of Cameron County District Attorney Armando R. Villalobos all came up in a sequence of questions during the federal trial of attorney Ray R. Marchan........
On June 18, a federal jury found Marchan, 55, guilty on seven counts of racketeering, extortion and mail fraud. The charges involved paying kickbacks and bribes to former state District Judge Abel C. Limas in 2008 in exchange of an ad-litem appointment and favorable court rulings.
More at link....
11-19-2015, 10:33 AM #5
From May 2014:
Prosecutors are calling the Amit Livingston case the "cornerstone" of the Cameron County "Cash For Court Favors" scandal...
Testimony in federal court revealed that the former district attorney schemed with former 404th State District Court Judge Abel Limas. As part of their plot, the two let Livingston go and then split up a $500,000 dollar bond...
FBI agents went after Judge Limas and ended up taking down a total of 11 people in their corruption probe. Former district attorney Armando Villalobos was sentenced to 13 years in federal prison for his role in the scheme. Limas got six and a half years due to his cooperation and testimony against Villalobos and others involved in the case.
Amit M. Livingston is now known as No. 02006537. That is the convicted murderer’s number in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice system...
On the lam for seven years until his arrest May 6, 2014, in India, Livingston was extradited to the United States on July 14. He has begun to serve the 23-year sentence former 404th state District Judge Abel C. Limas leveled against him in February 2007 for the September 2005 murder of Hermila Garcia Hernandez, a school teacher from Edinburg.
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