Texas

Dallas police arrest new murder suspect after wrongfully booking two more people in December

A man was arrested in connection with the murder of a 29-year-old man in Oak Cliff West almost a month after Dallas police mistakenly arrested a husband and wife who were later released.

Bernadino Delgado, 47, was jailed in the Dallas County Jail on Wednesday. Dallas police say he’s been charged with murder and bail has yet to be set. A lawyer named in Delgado’s court records declined to comment on Wednesday.

Around 1:00 am on November 5, officers responded to reports of shooting in the 4300 block of West Illinois Avenue, off South Cockrell Hill Road, where they found Xavier Ramon Hernandez-Hankins with a gunshot wound to the head. He was taken to the hospital, where he died, police said.

Ruby Esparza, 33, and Basilio Tovar, 50, were incarcerated in the Dallas County Jail on December 19 on one count of murder related to the murder.

“This was clearly a police error,” Tovar’s lawyer Chris Mulder said earlier. “I’m just glad that they showed an open mind and listened, otherwise these people would have been in jail until the trial.”

Dallas police spokeswoman Christine Lowman said earlier that the detective’s preliminary investigation had led to possible grounds for believing the pair were involved in the murder.

“During further investigation, it was determined that they did not commit a crime,” she said.

According to the arrest warrant, Hernandez, Tovar, and Esparza were together at a bar earlier that night when a witness said Hernandez “got upset” and left. When Tovar and Esparza couldn’t find him at the bar, the affidavit says, they got into a black pickup truck and drove to look for him.

According to CCTV footage and interviews with witnesses, the affidavit says, the pickup truck stopped next to Hernandez, who was walking down the sidewalk before the passenger door opened and a gunshot rang out.

However, Mulder had previously said that numerous details of the sworn testimony did not match the testimony of the witnesses. The lawyer said a “very similar” pickup truck was involved in the shooting, and an eyewitness placed Tovar and Esparza in a bar during the shooting. Mulder said the police did not ask the couple to testify as witnesses, but instead showed up with arrest warrants.

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