Texas Execution Information Center

Execution Report: Jose Villegas

Jose Villegas
Jose Villegas
Executed on 16 April 2014

Jose Luis Villegas Jr., 39, was executed by lethal injection on 16 April 2014 in Huntsville, Texas for the murder and robbery of three people in their home.

On 22 January 2001, Villegas, then 25, visited the home in Corpus Christi where his ex-girlfriend, Erida Salazar, lived with her parents and two children. Villegas arrived in the morning, while Salazar's father was at jury duty and her mother was taking her daughter to school. Villegas, who was out of jail on bond, was scheduled to appear in court later that day on charges of punching a woman in the face and sexually assaulting her daughter. He also had two misdemeanor assault convictions. According to Villegas's confession, he and Salazar, 24, consumed around $200 worth of cocaine. Salazar's mother, Alma Perez, 51, then returned home. Perez was aware of Villegas' background and had previously warned her daughter not to let him into the house. When Perez ordered Villegas to leave, he stabbed her to death with a kitchen knife. He then stabbed Salazar and her 3-year old son, Jacob, to death. He then took a television set and drove away in Salazar's vehicle. He then pawned the television and bought some more cocaine.

Lionesio Perez arrived home at about 9:15 a.m. after being excused early from jury duty. He found his wife, daughter, and grandson had been stabbed to death in their Corpus Christi home. Alma Perez was stabbed 35 times. Erida Salazar was stabbed 32 times. Jacob Salazar was stabbed 19 times.

A neighbor told police that she saw Villegas leaving the Perez home at approximately 8:45 a.m. The police then spotted him driving Salazar's vehicle at approximately 9:30 a.m. Villegas was apprehended after a high-speed chase and a foot pursuit. He had three bags of cocaine tucked under his baseball cap. He confessed to the murders. He also said that he wanted to return to the Perez home to commit suicide by overdosing on cocaine, but he fled when he saw the police there.

Lawyers at Villegas' trial acknowledged that he committed the murders, but said they were not intentional and he was mentally ill. A defense psychiatrist testified that Villegas' uncontrollable violent behavior was caused by "intermittent explosive disorder."

Villegas' two previous convictions for assault causing bodily were from 1999. He pleaded guilty to both of them. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail for the first conviction and 60 days in jail for the second. He also had a 1993 conviction for possession of inhalant paraphernalia.

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