BALTIMORE (WJZ)—It’s a case that rocked the Baltimore region. Three young children were brutally murdered and two family members were accused and convicted of the crime. But now that conviction is being overturned.

 Weijia Jiang explains why this case could be brought to trial again.

Adan Canela and Policarpio Espinoza Perez are serving life sentences for the vicious murders of three young relatives.

In May 2004, 8-year-old Lucero Espinoza, her brother 9-year-old Ricardo Espinoza, and their 10-year-old cousin Alexis Quezada were found in their Park Heights apartment severely beaten, their throats cut so deeply they were nearly decapitated.

 But in a stunning move, the state’s highest court overturned the pair’s convictions Friday in a 4-3 decision.

“When things are withheld, you’re fighting with one hand tied behind your back. That’s what the court found here,” said Brian Murphy, Canela’s appellate attorney.

The trial was one of the longest in Baltimore history. Jurors had sent nearly 30 notes to the trial judge. The Court of Appeals says the judge did not disclose six others.

Five of them were questions about key evidence; the other had to do with juror misconduct.

One legal expert calls the mistake, “Sloppy. In other words, there’s no excuse for it,” said Byron Warnken, University of Baltimore legal expert. “When you get the tag team match of error by the trial judge that was not harmless, the defendant gets a new trial.”

Several people who still live at the apartment complex say hearing about the ruling brings them right back to that chilling day seven years ago when the children’s bodies were discovered.

“It’s just bringing back memories, bringing everything back out,” said Kisha White, neighbor.

“I think it’s sad, very sad, the family has to re-live this moment,” said Lee Mawyer, neighbor.

If the State’s Attorney decides to re-try the case, obstacles are evident. Many family members who testified were here illegally and have since been deported back to Mexico.

A spokesman for the State’s Attorney’s Office says they are carefully reviewing the ruling and will decide whether to retry the case.

Circuit judge David Mitchell oversaw the trial. He has since retired.

Comments (14)
  1. Don says:

    They do not belong here. I say kill them both and save the state some money

    1. gm says:

      They should kill them all. They come over here and are dirty, kill and torture animals and people. They are savage.

  2. Jerry says:

    Don I agree. Whats worse is O’Malley want’s to send people like this to our schools with out doing a background on the family to see if they came here illegally to get out of a prison sentence . I bet you that they will get off just like the two black kids who murdered the white boy Sentenced to 4 years and released doing almost 2 years. The whole system is a joke, the evidence is there , so send them back to Mexico. Enough is enough.

  3. FED UP says:

    All of these so called judges should be impeached.
    “Three dissenting judges noted defense attorneys saw the judge’s error and didn’t object.”

    FU@^ING RIDICULOUS!!!! shame on those judges for giving a new trial on such a little technicality. These children were almost beheaded.

    Stupid liberals

  4. RavenLude says:

    they already lost 2 trials and now a bankrupted state wants to spend/waste more money to give these violent, illegal immigrants another trial.
    maryland and all of its judges and politicians are geniuses.
    there will come a day when there will need to be a revolution in this state, in order to make things right again

  5. jackie says:

    They need to be sent back to where they came from, preferably on a boat with a hole.. Hopefully the sharks will enjoy them

  6. Not Fair says:

    No re-trial– there wasn’t another chance for these children to live and this family is going to suffer again?

  7. adraine says:

    well i would like to comment on what jerry said about tow blacks killing a white it is wrong but you people have been killing african ameriacans for years and bee n getting away with it.(read your history) EMMITT TILL whistle at a trashy white woman and they took him out his bed at night and killed you racist.

    1. Patricia Rafferty Lane says:

      what does that really have to do with the issue at hand.

    2. Jerry says:

      I’m not racist. I’m just comparing the two, and saying don’t matter what color you are the slap on the wrist has to stop. Enough is Enough.

  8. RDNKKKGRL says:

    were not racist were not the ones who sold our own people to other people that was all started by the blacks we just freed them n that was the biggest mistake old abe lincoln ever did them two black boys should of been shot and so should the mexicans they need to b taken out back n hung to the tallest oak tree u can find and used for target practice we wont have another revolution this world needs god period!!!!

  9. Angel says:

    The law system is a joke and continue to get worst each new day! What is it going to take for each and everyone of us to do something about the world we are living in. These children were killed a horrible death and someone’s needs to pay. Forget the new trial and put them down for life!!! BRING BACK THE CHAIR!!!

    1. chalkie says:

      I agree but maryland used the gas chamber. Doesn’t matter to me which one we use, as long as it gets used. Our governor is the one who pretty much did away with the death penalty, but if it was one of his family murdered i bet the find away to execute the person. Maybe if our state put a express lane in to the death penalty like texas, I bet half the murder rate would drop in a year. Punishment needs to fit the crime. Prisoners need to be made to do hard labor, so when they get out the can be a productive part of society and not want to do a crime to go back.

  10. twyatt says:

    chalkie I agree with you. When a prisoner is sent into prison, they get tv, cards to play, weights to lift 3 hot meals a day and a bed to sleep in… where is the punishment in that? things are just way too easy !!!! If you kill then you need to be killed stop wasting the tax payers money on housing them in a jail. just do away with them.

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