Carlos Ayestas was sentenced to death by the State of Texas for the murder of a woman during a robbery. According to court documents Carlos Ayestas would break into the woman’s home and in the process of robbing it would strangle the woman causing her death. Carlos Ayestas would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
Carlos Ayestas 2022 Information
|Name||Ayestas, Carlos Manuel|
|Date of Birth||7/30/69|
|Age (when Received)||28|
|Education Level (Highest Grade Completed)||12 years|
|Date of Offense||9/5/95|
|Age (at the time of Offense)||26|
|Height (in Feet and Inches)||5′ 2″|
|Weight (in Pounds)||166|
Carlos Ayesta More News
Carlos Ayestas was convicted of capital murder for murdering Santiaga Paneque during the course of committing or attempting to commit robbery or burglary. About two weeks before the murder Ayestas and a friend went to look at a car offered for sale by Anna McDougal, who lived across the street from Paneque. McDougal went inside her house for about 15 minutes while the men inspected the car. When she came back outside, McDougal saw the two men leaving Paneque’s house. When she asked what they were doing, the men told McDougal that Paneque called them over to look at some furniture she was trying to sell.
Paneque’s son, Elin, left the house at about 8:30 a.m. on September 5, 1995. He returned home for lunch at 12:23 p.m. and rang the doorbell, but there was no response. He put his key in the doorknob, but noticed that the door was unlocked. Upon entering, he saw that the room was ransacked and items were missing. The rest of the house was in much the same condition. Elin went to the house of a neighbor, Maria Diaz, and called 911. Upon returning to his house, he found his mother’ s body on the floor of the master bathroom. She had silver duct tape on her ankles. Elin returned to Diaz’s house and asked her to go make sure that his mother was dead. Diaz entered the Paneque house and called Ms. Paneque’s name. She found Ms. Paneque lying face down on the floor. Her face was a dark color and she was not breathing.
He stated that he specifically noted the time.
Detective Mark Reynolds of the Harri s County Sheriff’s Department testified that the house was ransacked but bore no signs of forced entry. Paneque’s body was face down in a pool of blood and vomit. Her wrists were bound with the cord from an alarm clock and then wrapped in silver duct tape. She also had duct tape over her eyes and around her neck. Reynolds also testified that it was apparent that Paneque was beaten. Her face was swollen and covered with cuts and bruises. Reynolds showed neighbors photographs of two suspects, and McDougal identified them as the same two men who were in Paneque’s house about two weeks before the murder. One of the suspects was Petitioner and the other was Frederico Zaldivar.
An autopsy conducted by Dr. Marilyn Murr, an assistant medical examiner for Harris County, revealed that Paneque suffered multiple blows while she was still alive, resulting in numerous bruises and lacerations. She had fractured bones in her right elbow and neck, and bruises on each side of her pelvic area, just above the hips. An internal examination revealed extensive hemorrhaging in the neck and head. She had another fracture, caused by a “significant amount of force,” in the roof of the orbit containing her right eye. Dr. Murr determined that none of these injuries was substantial enough to kill Paneque. The cause of death was asphyxiation due to continual pressure applied to her neck for three to six minutes. Dr. Murr testified that her initial report indicated asphyxiation by ligature strangulation, but she reexamined the evidence shortly before trial at the request of the prosecutor. She then changed her conclusion to “asphyxiation due to strangulation,” which allowed for the possibility that a hand or hands might have caused the asphyxia.
Police recovered fingerprints from the crime scene. Two prints recovered from the tape around Paneque’s ankles, and two recovered from the roll of tape, matched Ayestas. On cross-examination the defense brought out that the two prints on the tape around Paneque’s ankles were only discovered shortly before trial, approximately 2 0 months after the murder, based on a reexamination undertaken at the prosecutor’s request.
Henry Nuila testified that he met Carlos Ayestas in mid-September 1995 at Ayestas’s sister’s house in Kenner, Louisiana. On September 20 an intoxicated Ayestas told Nuila that he was involved in the murder of a woman in Houston. Ayestas asked Nuila for help in killing the other two participants in the murder because “they had spoken too much.” Ayestas told Nuila that, if he declined, Ayestas would kill him.Carlos Ayestas brandished a gun. Nuila kept Ayestas talking until Ayestas passed out. Nuila then called the police. They arrested Ayestas, still in possession of the gun. Based on this evidence the jury found Ayestas guilty of capital murder for murdering Paneque during the commission or attempted commission of a burglary, robbery, or both.