Texas Execution Information Center

Execution Report: Pablo Vasquez

Pablo Vasquez
Pablo Vasquez
Executed on 6 April 2016

Pablo Lucio Vasquez, 38, was executed by lethal injection on 6 April 2016 in Huntsville, Texas for the murder and robbery of a 12-year-old boy.

On the night of Friday, 17 April 1998, Hilda Cantu dropped off her younger brother, David Cardenas, at a store in Donna, a town near the Rio Grande in Hidalgo County in south Texas. David was planning to meet a friend there and then was going to spend the weekend at his aunt's house. Sandra Ramirez, another sister in the nearby town of Alamo, with whom David had been living, reported him missing on Monday, 20 April, when he did not come home as expected.

An anonymous caller notified the police that David had been killed on the 18th after attending a party with his friend, Andy Chapa, 15, and Chapa's 20-year-old cousin, Pablo Vasquez.

The boy's body was found in a field underneath some scrap aluminum on 22 April. He was missing one of his arms and part of the other, had no skin on his back, had a hole in the back of his head, and had been scalped. An autopsy concluded that the cause of death was a major blunt-force fracture on the back of his head. The body was also mutilated after death by a means that caused bones to shatter.

Vasquez was arrested in Conroe, 325 miles north of the crime scene. He confessed to killing David. He said that he, his cousin, and David left the party together. As they were walking past a wooden shed, he started hearing voices telling him to kill David. He said that he then struck the boy with a metal pipe and slashed his neck with a knife. At that point, Vasquez said on the tape-recorded confession, "Something just told me to drink."

"You drink what?" a detective asked.

"His blood."

Vasquez then hoisted the boy on his shoulder and drank the blood as it flowed out of his neck. He and Chapa then dragged his body across a four-lane highway to a field for burial. Fearing he may still be alive, one of the perpetrators hit him in the face with a shovel. Vasquez stated that he tried at one point to remove the boy's head with the shovel, but "it couldn't come off." He also took a gold ring and chain from the body.

Vasquez said both he and Chapa were drunk that night, and he had also been using cocaine and marijuana. He said "the devil" and other voices urged him on during the crime.

"One side of my head said, 'You did wrong,'" he said in the tape-recorded confession. "The other side said, 'Keep doing it. Keep doing it.

"My face was covered with his blood," Vasquez said. "He was saying something. He was mumbling something."

In his confession, Vasquez said he was sorry he killed Cardenas and that he thought about committing suicide afterward. He denied mutilating the body.

Vasquez's motive for killing David was unclear. Police suspected a link to the occult. One of his cousins testified that he told her he killed him because the boy did not "give him what he wanted." He was charged with capital murder because he robbed the victim after killing him. The subject of Satanism did not come up during his trial.

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