The following words are a reproduction of a letter I received yesterday from Robert Avila. He requested that I post his words on this blog so that he could communicate directly with this website’s readers. In the interest of not implicating parties unknown to me, I have omitted certain names in connection with Robert’s legal case. As mentioned in my previous blog post about Robert’s impending execution, I do not know Robert personally nor have I done anything to investigate the circumstances surrounding his conviction. I post his words here not as a journalistic or scholarly account of the events he describes but as a personal essay from a condemned man who wishes to communicate with the rest of the world. –Ashley Lucas
Words of Gratitude and Awareness
by Robert Avila
November 2, 2012
I’d like to start off by saying thank you to Andrew Martinez from San Jose, CA, Andrea Ridgard from Ann Arbor, MI, Nancy Loiselle from El Paso, and Jim Dankovich from Birmingham, MI, for their words of encouragement and support. Of course none of this would be possible were it not for someone whom has touched my life instantaneously. Her name is Ashley Lucas. Without even knowing me personally, she reached out and introduced me on her blog here. I can’t thank you enough, Ashley, you’re amazing! This was all made possible by my dear friend Iris. Words alone can’t describe what this wonderful woman means to me. Iris, I love you infinitely!
Now then, I want to take this opportunity to tell you what happened to me back on February 29, 2000 so that this doesn’t happen to you or your loved one(s). That evening around 6 PM at [name omitted]’s apartment in El Paso, TX, while siting in her living room, she asked me if I would watch her kids while she went to night school at the University of Phoenix (El Paso campus). I said yes because I had done so on numerous other occasions. Right afterwards she got up from the couch and went to her bedroom with her son [name omitted] (19 months old). I meantime was watching TV. About 5 minutes later [name omitted] comes to the living room all in a hurry. I thought it was strange but didn’t pay attention like I should’ve. She then walks to the front door and tells me, “I’ve got to go.” I got up from the couch and walk towards her and tell her, “Why are you leaving so in a hurry?” She tells me, “If you say anything about this to anyone, I’ll have your Mom killed.” I told her, “What are you talking about?” She just looked at me and didn’t answer, then left. I knew she was serious because her brother [name omitted] has connections with this notorious gang in west El Paso. All she had to have done is called her brother on her cellphone and then he in turn contact his connection, so they could carry out the hit. I wasn’t about to let that happen to my Mom, so I took the fall. Back at the apartment I went to her bedroom, no sign of [name omitted]. I then went to the kids’ room and found [name omitted] lying on the floor face up. His body was motionless and his lips were bluish. I right away picked him up in my arms and took him to the living room where the phone was. I immediately dialed 911 so I could get assistance on performing CPR (cardio pulmonary resuscitation). As I was doing so, the paramedics arrived and took over. They were able to get a pulse and immediately took him to Providence Memorial Hospital. Unfortunately though, several hours later he passed away. I was then arrested and charged with the capital murder of [name omitted]. On May 7, 2001 I was convicted and sentenced to death. No evidence was proven in my trial because there didn’t exist any. I was told that the reason I was convicted was because I showed no remorse. Well, I couldn’t for something that I didn’t do to begin with. Anyhow, I’ve stayed quiet long enough. I can’t just sit back and let the State of Texas execute me for something I didn’t do. I have the necessary proof that excludes me of this crime. I just need to have it filed by an attorney. Right now I have no attorney though. So stay tuned, as soon as I hear something I’ll be sure to let you all know. . .