Lamb County District Attorney Mark Yarbrough once wrote in a memo that Sal Abreo was a liar; but in court Thursday Yarbrough told a different story.
Yarbrough said he wrote that Abreo was “the worst Texas Ranger you will ever meet,” and that “he lied to me to get me to file this case,” because he was frustrated with Abreo and didn’t really mean it.
The memo was penned two years after the impetus for Yarbrough’s frustration.
He said Abreo, the lead investigator in the 1996 murder of Evangelina Cruz, told him one thing about a witness which conflicted with her statement; but because Abreo cleared it up in another report, he never really lied, Yarbrough testified.
Claims of Abreo’s deceit and corruption have been a dominant issue in the civil rights suit filed by Alberto Sifuentes and Jesus Ramirez — the trial of which is close to entering its fourth week. ...
Sifuentes and Ramirez were arrested, convicted and imprisoned for the 1996 shooting death of Evangelina Cruz at the Littlefield Jolly Roger.The complainants also allege so-called "Brady violations," or withholding exculpatory evidence:
When an appeals court overturned their convictions and a Lamb County grand jury declined to indict, the pair of Mexican nationals sued the law enforcement and prosecutorial individuals and entities they say violated their constitutional rights to wrongly convict them.
The complaint filed by Sifuentes and Ramirez accuses Abreo, Yarbrough, Littlefield police officer Leonel Ponce and others of conspiring to wrongfully convict Sifuentes and Ramirez.
Phil Wischkaemper, Ramirez’ appointed attorney during the original criminal trial, testified after Yarbrough and was expected to retake the stand today.See the full story here.
He said he never received evidence and information Abreo had — specifically a comparison of shoes taken from Sifuentes and Ramirez to a shoe print at the crime scene. They didn’t match.
“It would have been a centerpiece of my cross examination of Sal Abreo,” Wischkaemper said.
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