Family friend always thought stepson was involved in 36-year-old cold case homicide

Family friend always thought stepson may have killed father

EL PASO, Texas - A man who knew the victim of a homicide cold case said he was always suspicious of one of the suspects.

Herman Delgado not only knew the Garrett family, he grew up a few doors down from where investigators say the homicide took place.

In an exclusive interview, he said the victim, Army Maj. Chester Garrett, was also his little league coach.

"We (the little league team) were 12 and 13 years old so it was a big shock, like who would want to kill coach, what did he do wrong, he was such a nice man," Delgado said Tuesday.

Roger Garrett, along with his mother, Lisbeth Garrett are now in custody. They're accused of beating and stabbing her husband, Chester, to death in an East El Paso home January 3, 1977.

Lisbeth has yet to be arraigned because she has not hired an attorney. Roger, who was arrested in Tennessee, is in the process of being extradited to El Paso.

Investigators said the couple's other son, Patrick Garrett, who was 12 years old at the time of the homicide, recently came forward with information leading to the arrests.

According to the complaint affidavit, he told investigators his brother confessed in the early '90s to killing their father with help from their mother.

"I don't understand they said they told him back in '91 - I don't understand how he would keep something like that to himself knowing that was his biological father," Delgado said. Patrick was Chester's biological son and Roger was his step-son, according to the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.

Delgado said he and friends were suspicious of Roger.

"He (Chester) was always a very nice man but his wife and Roger were different. They were always very disrespectful toward him, very rude to him and when it all happened - some of us were like 'Roger, who else would have had that much hate for Coach?' - because he showed his hatred toward him and his disrespect for him and it was never (like a) father - son (relationship), he was just very rude to him," Delgado said.

Delgado recalled an incident in which Lisbeth slapped Chester in public for denying one of the children a snow cone.

"He'd (Roger) always contradict whatever coach would tell him to do and he'd say 'oh I'm going to tell mom' and she'd come out and just verbally abuse him (Chester), in front of us, at the park, at the home," Delgado said.

Delgado said he has good memories of Chester and is holding on to that.

"I just remember riding his Volkswagen to practice. He was just an awesome, awesome guy," Delgado said. "He was like a big teddy bear, a big guy with a huge hear, just a gentle giant. I'm glad justice will be served in this case."

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