Texas Execution Information Center

Execution Report: Jesus Aguilar

Jesus Aguilar
Jesus Aguilar
Executed on 24 May 2006

Jesus Ledesma Aguilar, 42, was executed by lethal injection on 24 May 2006 in Huntsville, Texas for the murder and robbery of a couple in their home.

Rick Esparza was a drug dealer in Harlingen who made money transporting marijuana from his home to Mississippi. Esparza had started in the drug business in November 1994 as an employee of his lifelong friend, Jesus Aguilar, but their relationship soon soured after Esparza began transporting drugs to Mississippi for another supplier. Reportedly, Esparza came to Aguilar's home and threatened his life.

Esparza often asked his sister, Annette Chavez, and her family to stay in his trailer home while he and his wife were out of town. On 8 June 1995, Esparza and his wife left for Mississippi with a load of drugs. Annette Chavez, her husband Leonardo, and their children Leo Jr., 9, and Lincoln, 22 months, stayed in the trailer.

At about 5:00 a.m. on 10 June, after a night of drinking, Aguilar, then 31, and his nephew, Christopher Quiroz, 17, entered the trailer home and shot Mr. and Mrs. Chavez with a .22-caliber pistol. Both victims were also severely beaten. Leonardo was shot in the back of the head, and Annette was shot through the neck. Unknown to the killers, Leo Jr. hid under a kitchen table and watched. Lincoln was asleep in his room.

Police found 20 pounds of marijuana in the trailer.

About two weeks after the killings, Leo Jr. saw a picture in the newspaper his grandmother was reading. He told her that two of the men in the picture were the ones who shot his parents.

At Aguilar's trial, Leo Jr. testified that he was awakened by gunfire on the morning of the murders. He said that he got out of bed and went into the kitchen. From there, he saw his parents on the floor with two men standing over them. He testified he heard Quiroz tell his father to "get your fat ass up," and then Quiroz shot him. He then saw Aguilar take the gun from Quiroz and shoot his mother.

Aguilar had a prior conviction for attempted capital murder. He began serving a 10-year sentence in December 1984. The offense was later reduced to aggravated assault, and his sentence was reduced to 8 years. He completed his sentence and was discharged in March 1993.

In September 1983, Aguilar shot a police officer in the leg and chest. The officer survived.

Several prison guards and jail employees testified to Aguilar's violent nature, and his assaults on guards and other prisoners.

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