Double-standard justice Three deaths in Texas By Dan L. Knight Arlington As the crime rate increases, so does the public’s demand for an end to violence in the streets. Still, certain classes of people seem to enjoy grossly unfair exemptions before the law. Consider these three cases of murder by firearm from recent Texas history. Darrell Cain On the night of July 24, 1973, Dallas police officer Darrell Cain, age 30, placed one Santos Rodriquez, a 12year-old Mexican-American, in the front seat of his squad car and sat in the back seat with Santos’ brother, David, 13. Cain wanted information from the two boys about some recent burglaries. He handcuffed them and, to “facilitate” his 441441.44+11/..e . questioning, leaned forward, placed a .357 magnum service revolver to the head of Santos Rodriquez, and pulled the trigger several times in an apparent game of Russian roulettemeant, Cain later said, “to frighten the boy.” Cain’s gun was loaded with at least one round, and it fired at point-blank range into Santos’ temple, killing him instantly. David Rodriquez sat stunned, covered with his brother’s brains and blood. After the shooting, Cain was taken to police headquarters for questioning. The authorities did not play Russian roulette with Darrell Cain. In fact, they did not arrest, handcuff, or subject their brother policeman to any of the procedures normal under such circumstances. Cain was eventually suspended by the Dallas Police Dept., charged in the death of Santos Rodriquez, and indicted for murder by a Dallas County grand jury. He remained free on bond pending trial. A Dallas jury in criminal district court later convicted Cain of murder with malice, He was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment. Defense attorney Phil Burleson had reminded the jury as they contemplated punishment for murderer Cain that “he has been protecting your lives and property for the past five-andone-half years” and that if Cain were imprisoned, his “life would be in danger.” Burleson argued that the disgrace, humiliation, and loss of employment Cain had already suffered was sufficient punishment and that his client should be given a probated sentence. Assisnt district attorney Doug Mulder, famous for the extraordinarily severe sentences he has extracted from Dallas juries, argued against probation. The trial judge agreed and sentenced Cain to a maximum of five years in prison. Darrell Cain could have been paroled after serving only eighteen months. Punishment for murder in Texas can be swift and sure, but it all depends on who murders whom. Burleson appealed the case, however, and Cain remained free on a $20,000 bond. On Jan. 17 of this year, The State of Texas v. Darrell L. Cain was argued before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. A decision is pending. As of this writing, Darrell Cain has yet to serve a single day in jail. Santos Rodriquez is buried in a West Dallas cemetery. Frank Hayes On the night of Sept. 14, 1975, just outside Castroville, about twenty miles west of San Antonio off U.S. Highway 90, 53-year-old police chief Frank Hayes shot Ricardo Morales, 26, at point-blink range with a 12-gauge shotgun. Death for Morales was instantaneous. With Hayes at the time of the shooting was a family friend, 17-year-old Dennis Dunford, who sat in Hayes’ car while the police chief and Morales stood outside at the rear of the vehicle. Parked about two hundred yards away in another police car was Donald McCall, Hayes’ deputy, and Steve Worthy, a jail guard who was riding with McCall that night. A few hours later, Mrs. Dorthy Hayes, Frank’s wife, their daughter Jennie, and Dorthy’s sister, Mrs. Alice Baldwin of San Antonio, drove to the Panola County farm of Mrs. Hayes’ brother in East Texas. There the three women buried Ricardo Morales in a shallow grave. \(Frank Hayes and Dennis Dunford had loaded Morales’ body into the trunk Hayes was arrested the next day, Sept. 16, while cleaning Morales’ blood from the floor of the trunk. She was eventually charged with the misdemeanor offense of concealing evidence. Tried and found guilty, she was given a one-year probated sentence. A similar charge lodged against Dennis Dunford was later dropped. Neither Jennie Hayes nor Alice Baldwin were ever charged in the case, and neither was Steve Worthy. Deputy Donald McCall won a grant of immunity in exchange for his testimony against Frank Hayes. Hayes was eventually convicted of aggravated assault in a San Angelo courtroom and sentenced to a maximum prison term of ten years with parole a possibility after two years. Hayes began serving his sentence last July in the state prison at Huntsville. No one but Frank Hayes knows why he murdered Ricardo Morales, and Hayes either refuses to talk about the incident or says he can’t remember what happened. At his trial, Hayes swore that his gun discharged accidentally. Why he arrested Morales in the first place is uncertain since the civil warrants used by deputy McCall were known to be invalid. Why Hayes would take a suspect beyond the city limits, order accompany February 25, 1977 27
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