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Eusebio Fierros, Jr. - California Death Row
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Thread: Eusebio Fierros, Jr. - California Death Row

  1. #1
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Oct 2010

    Eusebio Fierros, Jr. - California Death Row

    RIVERSIDE COUNTY: Death penalty case on hold

    A Riverside County death penalty case has been put on hold after the judge branded a lawyer for the public defender’s office as ineffective and said there was "the very real appearance" that defense investigators may have tried to induce perjury.

    The office has appealed. The deputy public defender removed from the case, R. Addison Steele II, disputes Judge Christian F. Thierbach’s ruling.

    Perris residents Juan Ramon Coronado, Jr., 25, and Eusebio Fierros, 22, were both charged in the 2008 robbery and murder of 85-year-old Lupe Delgadillo from the community of Good Hope, a rural area west of Perris.

    Fierros has been convicted, and jurors on Wednesday recommended the death penalty. He will be sentenced May 18.

    Coronado’s case was severed from Fierros’ trial by Thierbach’s ruling.

    The judge acted after reviewing two defense memos, made three years apart and filed with Steele by different investigators who interviewed the same acquaintance of the defendants.

    But the contents of the memos differ significantly from each other, and that’s what got the attention of the court and prosecutors in the case.

    One from 2008 said Coronado confessed his role in the murder to the friend; the second, from 2011, suggested Coronado seemed surprised to learn about the murder from a newspaper story. And there was a suggestion in the earlier memo that it could be written "minus" the murder confession.

    Steele insists that was "a joke," and that the second memo that implied Coronado was ignorant of the slaying until reading about it was not the result of collusion between the investigators.

    A December hearing in Thierbach’s court about the memos included an appearance by Public Defender Gary Windom, whom Thierbach told, "If I were you, I would be conducting a major housecleaning of your office, including the people responsible for this conduct."

    Windom said Thursday the investigation was under way.

    "This is the first such allegation since I have been public defender in Riverside County (since 1999)," Windom said. "The investigation is being taken very seriously." He said no interim action has been taken.

    Court papers filed by the defender’s office call the perjury implications a "quantum leap" from the facts. It noted that each investigator worked for separate defense offices — one for the public defender, and one for the capital defender, the latter dedicated to death penalty cases.

    "The picture from the court’s erroneous view was that of two investigators working for the Public Defender, each generating a divergent report in some sort of sinister plot," the papers state.

    Steele said separately that material covered by attorney-client privilege prevented him from arguing effectively about the memos and other matters in open court, and Thierbach should not have denied him a private, under-oath hearing before removing him and the office from the case.


    Thierbach sent the State Bar of California a letter notifying the attorney regulatory body of his ruling and Steele’s role in the matter. Steele said he has received an inquiry from the Bar.

    "I am looking forward to talking to them, because they will take the few minutes needed to find out what actually happened," Steele said Thursday.


    The memos from 2008 and 2011 are each based on an interview with Marquan Lee, a friend of Coronado’s since around 2002. Both investigators on Thursday declined to comment, but one expressed confidence no wrongdoing will be found.

    The 2008 memo says Coronado described to Lee his role and that of Fierros in the murder; that Lee saw Coronado with a gun similar to the suspected murder weapon; and that Coronado told Lee he and Fierros "put a ‘lick’ on an old man and took his car."

    The 2011 report says Lee related that Coronado seemed "surprised" when a story about the murder and Fierros’ arrest appeared in a newspaper. Coronado was arrested a day later.

    There also are comments in the 2008 memo that Thierbach and prosecutors said posed serious ethical questions: The defense investigator wrote that he told Lee how Coronado’s defense team wanted to put the gun in Fierros’ hands, instead of Coronado’s. And the investigator also wrote to Steele, "Let me know if you want an ‘interview’ report and I’ll get you one, minus the confession."

    Prosecutors learned the content of the 2008 report because Steele accidentally sent it to them, along with the 2011 report. He tried to get it returned "and for the People to forget they had ever seen it," prosecutors told Thierbach.

    Defense attorneys do not have to give prosecutors all the material they have gathered.

    But it was too late. Prosecutors had seen it, and notified Thierbach about their concerns.

    Even assuming that the interview report in which Coronado allegedly confessed was accidentally handed to prosecutors, Thierbach ruled "the ultimate result is that Mr. Coronado has been denied the effective assistance of counsel."

    Turning to the memos, Thierbach said, "Even more telling is the very real appearance that investigators employed by the Public Defender’s Office have engaged in conduct suggesting a willingness to fabricate or alter evidence up to, and including, the subornation of perjury, in an effort to mount a defense."


    Steele said Thierbach’s conclusions about the memos were unsupported. The two investigators, he said, "absolutely were not" in collusion, and each had coincidentally sought out Lee.

    "Those two documents don’t have anything to do with each other, they are completely separate," he said. And, he noted, there was no document "minus the confession" produced from the content of the 2008 memo.

    "My investigators should not be making those kinds of jokes, but at the same time, that’s what it was," Steele said. He also said the line about the defense strategy was ambiguous as to whether it was actually said to Lee, or mentioned by the investigator in the memo solely as a talking point to Steele.

    The district attorney’s office declined a request for interviews in the case, but said through spokesman John Hall, "We support the court’s decision to remove previous counsel … and as prosecutors we seek to ensure justice is done and that a defendant is fully afforded his right to adequate counsel and a fair trial."

    Steele said while he cannot disclose all the exonerating material he claims to have because of attorney-client privilege, "The district attorney has information in their hands that should let them know that what they are implying is absolutely incorrect."

    Steele says the action is the latest exchange he has had with prosecutors over trial misconduct; in a previous murder case it was Steele who accused prosecutors of improper behavior for allegedly making inquiries about jury deliberations.

    An appellate court has upheld Thierbach’s ruling to remove the public defender’s office from the case, and the state Supreme Court has been asked to hear the matter. The high court has put Coronado’s case on hold while the petition is considered.

    "I hate being placed in this position," Thierbach said from the bench in December. "But I have an overriding, overwhelming obligation to do anything and everything in my power to ensure that these defendants receive a fair trial."


  2. #2
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
    PERRIS: Man receives death in elderly neighbor’s murder

    A judge called a convicted killer’s murder of an 85-year-old Good Hope man “chilling and horrific” before sentencing him to death for the 2008 murder.

    Eusebio Fierros, 22, sat in a red jail uniform and handcuffs as Judge Christian Thierbach sentenced him Friday, May 18, for killing and robbing his elderly neighbor, Lupe Delgadillo.

    Fierros was convicted of murder with a special circumstance of killing in the commission of a robbery. The same jury recommended in March that he face the death penalty instead of life in prison without parole.

    The California Supreme Court is reviewing the defense of a second man also charged with murder, Juan Ramon Coronado, who is still awaiting trial.

    “Vicious and inhumane doesn’t describe this crime,” Thierbach said.

    Fierros and Coronado are accused of using a teenage girl to lure Delgadillo out of his home. Prosecutors said the girl, Kristina Allen, went to his home outside Perris late at night, Jan 21, 2008, and asked for a ride.

    He drove her in his red Mustang to an area where Fierros was waiting, according to a trial brief. Fierros beat up Delgadillo, threw him in the trunk of his own car and then drove off to pick up Coronado.

    With Delgadillo pleading for his life from the trunk of the car, Fierros and Coronado drove to a remote area where they opened the trunk and Coronado shot Delgadillo in the face, according to the trial brief. They dumped Delgadillo’s body in a ravine and covered it in cardboard. Then, they went for fast food before going to burglarize Delgadillo’s home, Deputy District Attorney Jared Haringsma said.

    Homicide detectives arrested Fierros two days later on suspicion of murder. He told detectives Coronado shot Delgadillo and showed authorities where he was killed.

    Fierros smiled at his family as they sat in the back of the courtroom. His family sobbed loudly as they left the courthouse.

    His attorney asked the judge if he could hug his family one more time before he was sent to prison. His request was denied, before he was led away in chains.

    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

  3. #3
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Oct 2010

    Jury recommends death in elderly man's slaying

    A Riverside County Superior Court jury is recommending a second defendant be sentenced to death for his murder conviction in the beating and shooting death of an 85-year-old Good Hope man in a robbery seven years ago.

    Judge Christian Thierbach will sentence Juan Ramon Coronado Jr., 28, of Perris, on April 17, following the jury’s verdict late Monday, March 9.

    Victim Lupe Delgadillo was a member of a Corona family who worked in the citrus industry and later construction and lived in a rural area near Perris where he could grow vegetables that he shared with family and friends, family members testified during the penalty phase of the trial.

    Known as a giving man, Delgadillo gave a ride to a teenage girl in his red Mustang, but in an encounter planned by the defendants met Eusebio Fierros, 25, of Perris, who beat him, threw him in the trunk of the Mustang and picked up Coronado, according to court records. After hours in the trunk, Coronado shot Delgadillo in the face. His body was dumped into a ravine. Fierros was sentenced to death in 2012 for the crime.

    The girl, Kristina Lynn Allen, who was 17 at the time, has been charged in adult court with murder and carjacking.

    Coronado was also convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm and special circumstances, including that the victim was killed during a robbery.

    In closing arguments during the penalty phase of the trial, prosecutor Jared Haringsma called Coronado a predator, defined by the choices he has made in life, who laughed when telling someone later about the robbery.

    By all accounts, Coronado had a happy childhood in a two-parent home, but started using alcohol and marijuana as a teenager, sometimes smoking with his father.

    There was evidence that the victim pleaded for his life, but “this plea fell on deaf ears, there was no mercy extended,” Haringsma said. “Mercy does not rain down on the unremorseful and nonrepentant.”

    He noted that Coronado had been incarcerated for most of his adult life, and testimony during trial showed that he has a history of assaulting other inmates, making illegal weapons in jail and not following orders of jailers.

    Christian Jensen, one of Coronado’s attorneys, reminded jurors in the penalty phase that each of them must weigh the factors in mitigation and aggravation and each has “the power to chose life” in prison, instead of recommending a death sentence.

    “Your job is to search for value,” he said. “It is a life to be spared” and a vote for life does not diminish the seriousness of the acts.

    Coronado’s trial was separated from that of Fierros and delayed pending appeals when questions arose about how Riverside County Public Defender’s Office personnel handled his defense and procedural steps taken by Judge Thierbach to remove the public defender’s office from the case.

    In April 2012, the state Supreme Court directed the Riverside-based Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division Two, to order the Superior Court judge to address the technical issues.

    According to minutes of a subsequent Superior Court hearing, the public defender’s office declared a conflict and was relieved from representing Coronado, rendering the issues moot.

    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

  4. #4

    Man sentenced to death for murdering 85-year-old

    A Perris man was sentenced to death Friday, April 17, for his involvement in the beating and shooting death of an 85-year-old Good Hope man in 2008.

    Juan Ramon Coronado Jr., 28, appeared in a Riverside County courtroom Friday before Judge Christian Thierbach. Thierbach upheld a Riverside County Superior Court jury’s March 9 recommendation that Coronado receive the death penalty for the first-degree murder of Lupe Delgadillo, 85.

    Delgadillo’s friends and family members made comments in court Friday supporting the jury’s decision. Delgadillo’s niece, Patricia Welch, said she didn’t understand why Coronado killed her uncle after he begged for his life, a life Welch said was long and fulfilled.

    “How can you be so heartless?” Welch said. “He was pleading for his life and he had so much to live for. He was robbed of celebrating his 90th birthday, which he was so looking forward to.”

    Monica Delgadillo, another of the victim’s nieces, said in court Friday that the family and community will miss his kind, joyful nature.

    “(Delgadillo) had a wonderful spirit about him,” she said. “But we will never hear his laugh or see his smile ever again.”

    Known as a giving man, Delgadillo on Jan. 23, 2008 gave a ride to Kristina Lynn Allen, then 17, in his red mustang. As planned by the defendants, Delgadillo encountered 25-year-old Eusebio Fierros, who beat him and threw him in trunk of the Mustang.

    Fierros then drove the Mustang to pick up Coronado. After Delgadillo was trapped in the trunk for hours, Coronado shot him in the face. Delgadillo’s body was then dumped into a ravine.

    Fierros was sentenced to death in 2012 for the crime.

    Allen, who is now 24, faces charges of murder and carjacking.

    In court Friday, Delgadillo’s nephew-in-law Bruce Welch, expressed that though Coronado was sentenced to death, Delgadillo’s family was still distraught by the tragedy of his death.

    “(The punishment) doesn’t even come close to matching the evil that you have done,” Welch said.


  5. #5
    Administrator Moh's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
    On January 13, 2016, counsel was appointed to represent Fierros on direct appeal before the California Supreme Court.


  6. #6
    Senior Member CnCP Legend JLR's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
    Fierros filed his opening brief on direct appeal on the 13th of September 2019.


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