Texas Execution Information Center

Robert Perez

Robert Anthony Martinez Perez, 48, was executed by lethal injection on 6 March 2007 in Huntsville, Texas for the gang-related murder of two men.

In 1994, Herbert Huerta, the founder and president of the Mexican Mafia in Texas, was sentenced to life in federal prison. Huerta named Diane "Laura" Guzman as general of the San Antonio division. A rival, Luis "Blue" Adams, challenged Guzman's appointment, and the organization split in two.

On 17 April 1994, Perez, then 41, Robert Herrera, and Frank Estrada, who were Huerta supporters, spotted Adams' car in San Antonio. After going home to arm themselves, they returned to the area and saw three of Adams' supporters - Jose and Jesse Travieso and Robert Rivas. They then opened fire, killing Jose Travieso and Robert Rivas, and wounding Jesse Travieso.

Over the next few years, Perez rose in the Mexican Mafia, or "Eme," in San Antonio, attaining the rank of general. He ordered and planned a successful hit on Adams several months after Travieso and Rivas were killed. He was also connected to one of the most bloody and notorious crimes in San Antonio history, when five people were killed in a West French Place apartment in 1997. Perez also ordered the killings of four members of his own organization, for disobeying orders or for talking about their activities. In all, prosecutors linked Perez to at least 15 murders in San Antonio.

When Perez was arrested at his home, officers recovered $30,000 in cash and large amounts of jewelry.

His trial for the Travieso and Rivas murders was held in Dallas County. Jesse Travieso testified against Perez, as did a member of Perez's gang who turned into an informant. Perez did not testify in his defense.

Perez had a previous conviction for attempted manslaughter for stabbing a man numerous times in the heart and stomach during a domestic disturbance in October 1986. He was sentenced to ten years in prison. He was paroled in August 1990. While on parole, Perez received convictions for aggravated assault and evading arrest. He was returned to prison for a short while in 1992, but was paroled again after four months. (At the time, parole for repeat offenders was common in Texas due to strict prison population caps imposed by U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice.) He was on parole at the time of the murders.

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