DA's motion to recuse Judge Sam Medrano from Villegas retrial denied

EL PASO, Texas - 01-08-13 UPDATE: Judge Sam Medrano of the 405th District Court will be allowed to remain on the possible retrial of Daniel Villegas.

On Tuesday, Stephen B. Ables, Presiding Judge of the Sixth Administrative Judicial Region of Texas, denied the motion submitted by District Attorney Jaime Esparza to remove Judge Medrano from the case.

The ruling stated after approximate 50 pages of documents, the court found "no legal or factual basis" to recuse Judge Medrano.

The Criminal Court of Appeals has not ruled on whether it will grant Daniel Villegas a retrial.


The District Attorney's Office has filed a motion to recuse District Judge Sam Medrano from the retrial of convicted murderer Daniel Villegas.

The DA is concerned because Medrano said he believed Villegas was innocent during a hearing last month. That's when the Court of Criminal Appeals ruled Villegas deserved a new trial.

A jury convicted Villegas of capital murder in 1995. He has always maintained his innocence, saying an El Paso Police detective coerced him into making a confession.

In a document filed with the 409th Judicial District Court, Villegas and his defense argue the district attorney's motion undermines confidence in the judicial system.

"The judicial system would grind to a halt if any judge's findings based on evidence required him to recuse himself from any further proceedings in the case," states Villegas in the document.

'Read ABC-7's complete coverage of the Villegas quest for a new trial here.

comments powered by Disqus