A man from south Texas who was arrested for mercilessly bludgeoning a 12-year-old boy to death and then drinking the blood of the mutilated corpse now faces the death penalty after the court gave its verdict on the offender on Wednesday.
Pablo Vasquez, 38, is scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection at 6 p.m. He is the sixth person from Texas to face judicial execution. He is also 537th person from Texas to face the capital punishment after the death penalty law was reinstated in 1976.
Vasquez admitted in a videotaped confession to police that he smashed David Cardenas’ head with a pipe and then slit his throat on April 18, 1998. Vasquez said he tried to cut off Cardenas’ head, but couldn’t get it off.
The body of the boy, which was scalped and badly mutilated, was discovered in a shallow grave in the south Texas town of Donna four days later.
According to Murderpedia database, the crime took place during the nighttime, in Donna, Texas. The subject and co-defendant, Andy Chapa, murdered a 12-year-old Hispanic male. Vasquez struck the victim in the head with a piece of pipe and a shovel. The victim’s body was buried behind a residence located on Stites Road and FM 493. Vasquez took a ring and a necklace from the victim. Vasquez and the co-defendant had met the victim at a local party.
Pablo Lucio Vasquez is accused of killing and mutilating David Cardenas. David was partying with Vasquez on the night he was murdered. According to the Murderpedia archive, Vasquez said that he drank the blood of the boy because the “devil told him so.”
The confession tape details that Vasquez and Andy Chapa (also accused of Cardenas’ murder) were both drunk that night. Vasquez told investigators he was also under the influence of marijuana and cocaine.
After hitting Cardenas with a metal pipe, Vasquez recalled, he slit the boy’s throat with a knife. Vasquez said he then carried the boy on his shoulder and started sucking on the blood that was oozing out freely.
“My face was covered with his blood… He was saying something. He was mumbling or something.”
Vasquez confessed that he tried removing the boy’s head with a shovel, but still denied allegations against mutilation. He said he quickly regretted his act, and wanted to commit suicide, too.
“I wanted to kill myself, too,” Vasquez said on the tape.
Seven others are accused in the crime. Chapa, 15, was charged with capital murder and stood the trial as an adult. Six others, including two teenage girls, were accused of helping to cover up the killing. Chapa was sentenced to 35 years in prison on a murder conviction.
His lawyers argued it was the case of mental unbalance, and it was unlawful for him to face death penalty but Texas courts rejected that claim last month.
State lawyers were in no mood for any further delay. They argued that the potential jurors’ exclusion was legally proper, and that the latest appeal was similar to an unsuccessful one 12 years ago and amounted to “nothing more than a meritless attempt to postpone his execution,” Assistant Texas Attorney General Jeremy Greenwell told the high court in a filing Tuesday.
Before the ultimate ruling, several unsuccessful appeals, including one rejected last month by a federal judge, focused on whether Vasquez was mentally ill and should be ineligible for the death penalty.
Vasquez was 20 at the time of murder. As the day of his execution came nearer, he declined press interviews. The “devil told me” confession was supposed to link with satanism, but that case never resurfaced again.
Three other relatives of Chapa and Vasquez received probation and a small fine for helping cover up the slaying. One of them was deported to his country in Guatemala.
[Photo by Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP Images]