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Jimmie Urbano LUCERO





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Revenge
Number of victims: 3
Date of murder: September 6, 2003
Date of birth: September 25, 1957
Victims profile: Fabiana Robledo, 31, her father, Pedro, 71, and her mother, Maria Manuela Robledo, 72 (neighbors)
Method of murder: Shooting (shotgun)
Location: Potter County, Texas, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on August 24, 2005

In the Supreme Court of the United States


petition for writ of certiorari


In the Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas


opinion AP-75247

TDCJ Number
Date of Birth
Lucero, Jimmie Urbano 999500 09/25/1957
Date Received
Age (When Received)
Education Level
08/24/2005 47 10
Date of Offense
Age (at the Offense)
09/06/2003 45 Potter
Hair Color
Hispanic Male Gray
Eye Color
5' 07" 221 Brown
Native County
Native State
Prior Occupation
Potter Texas Heavy Equipment Operator, Laborer
Prior Prison Record
Summary of Incident

On 09/06/2003 in Potter County, Texas, Lucero entered the residence of a neighbor and killed a 74 year old Hispanic female, a 32 year old Hispanic female and a 72 year old Hispanic male with a shotgun. 

Two other family members were also shot, their injuries were serious but not fatal.

Race and Gender of Victim
2 Hispanic Females and 1 Hispanic Male

Supreme Court lets stand death sentence after Bible reading

A death-row inmate claimed the jury foreman violated his fair-trial rights by reading out loud from Romans

By Warren Richey - The Christian Science Monitor

October 7, 2008

A Texas death-row inmate has lost his bid for a new sentencing hearing after complaining that the jury foreman at his capital murder trial read a Bible passage aloud to the entire jury before the panel returned his death sentence.

Lawyers for Jimmie Urbano Lucero had asked the US Supreme Court to take up the case to examine whether reading Bible passages aloud during jury deliberations violates fair-trial rights guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment.

On Monday, the high court declined to take up the case. The justices offered no explanation. The action lets stand decisions by the courts in Texas affirming Mr. Lucero's death sentence.

Lucero was convicted of carrying out the shotgun murder of three of his neighbors in 2003: a husband, wife, and their daughter. Two other children escaped during the attack and testified against Lucero.

During the penalty phase of the 2005 trial, the jury was asked to decide whether Lucero should receive punishment of life in prison or a death sentence. During an initial straw vote, 10 members of the 12-member jury voted for death. Two jurors opposed a death sentence.

At that point in the deliberations, the jury foreman produced his personal Bible and read a passage aloud to the 11 other jurors. He read from Romans 13: 1-6 in the New International Version of the Bible.

It says in part: "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.... For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer."

The Bible reading took about two minutes. The jury continued to deliberate for several hours. When a new vote was taken, the panel decided 12 to 0 in favor of death.

At issue in the appeal was whether reading the Bible aloud during jury deliberations violated the defendant's right to a fair trial. The precise question was whether the Bible introduced unauthorized materials and extraneous considerations into the trial process.

Courts in both the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston, the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans, and the 11th Circuit in Atlanta have ruled that the introduction of a Bible into jury deliberations violates the right to an impartial jury, the right to confrontation, and the right to a fair trial. But courts in the Fourth Circuit in Richmond and the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco have ruled that the presentation of specific Bible verses during jury deliberations does not violate the Sixth Amendment because the Bible's teachings are a matter of common knowledge in American culture.

"This case provides an excellent opportunity for the Court to resolve the split [among federal circuit courts] by reaffirming its longstanding precedents that the Sixth Amendment guarantees that jury verdicts in criminal cases will be based on the evidence developed at trial, and nothing else," wrote Lucero's lawyer, John Mathias of Chicago, in his brief urging the court to take up the case.

The Texas attorney general's office holds a different view. Courts must protect an impartial jury from outside influences that might corrupt the deliberation process, but in the Lucero case the influences were internal to the jury itself, lawyers for Texas said.

"The Bible had no evidentiary relationship to the jury's punishment deliberations," said Edward Marshall, chief of the postconviction litigation division of the attorney general's office, in his brief. "The Biblical passage from Romans in this case bears no relationship to the factual issues facing the jury."

Mr. Marshall said that rather than corrupting the deliberations, the Bible reading reinforced the judge's jury instructions and was harmless to the outcome of the trial. "It duplicates the trial court's own charge authorizing the jury to make this moral judgment," he wrote.

Lucero's lawyer, Mr. Mathias, said in his brief that a reasonable interpretation of Romans 13: 1-6 is that it instructs jurors to engage in "passive obedience to the state's call for punishment."

He added, "It cannot be said that the passage was harmless beyond any reasonable doubt."


Sentencing phase begins in triple-homicide trial

By Jim McBride - Amarillo Globe News

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Blanca Urrutia almost always knew when her next-door neighbor, Fabiana Robledo, was home. Fabiana had a funny kind of laugh, one that sometimes resonated through open windows to Blanca's house.

"She was the one who brought life to that house," Urrutia told jurors Tuesday during punishment-phase testimony in the trial of Jimmie Urbano Lucero, 47. Lucero was convicted Monday of capital murder in the Sept. 6, 2003, shotgun slayings of Fabiana Robledo, 31, her 71-year-old father, Pedro, and her 72-year-old mother, Maria Manuela Robledo.

Lucero faces death by lethal injection or life in prison.

Prosecutors alleged Lucero killed Pedro Robledo with a shotgun blast as he pulled up in his car at the family's home in the 1700 block of East Sixth Avenue shortly before 10 a.m. that day. Before killing the Robledo patriarch, Lucero allegedly fired a blast that narrowly missed Socorro Robledo, who narrowly escaped in his truck.

The state claimed Lucero then burst into the home, shot Maria Manuela Robledo to death on her couch and broke into a bedroom, where he allegedly fatally shot Fabiana Robledo and severely wounded her sister, Guadalupe.

During punishment-phase testimony Tuesday, prosecutors sought to breathe new life into the victims through the voices of the neighbors who knew them.

Urrutia told jurors she often teased Pedro Robledo when freshly cut grass from his yard blew into hers. Pedro, she said, always came over and cleaned it up.

"He was a man who liked to tease and play with my family and me, and he was a man who liked to talk," she said.

Pedro's wife, Maria, was very friendly, but also a quiet person, Urrutia testified.

But Urrutia painted a less-than-friendly picture of the back-and-forth between next-door neighbors Jimmie Lucero and Fabiana Robledo, who sometimes yelled and hurled names at each other.

"She wasn't going to give him the importance he wanted," Urrutia said.

Guadalupe Robledo, who survived a shotgun blast to her left arm and chest, testified that several months before the shooting, Lucero and her father had words over the fence. Shortly after that, Lucero pointed a gun at her father.

In the wake of the shooting that left three members of her family dead, Guadalupe Robledo said she now is trying to gain custody of Fabiana's young son, Fabian, who witnessed the shooting rampage that killed his mother.

The boy, she said, cringes whenever he hears the wail of a police or ambulance siren.

"He becomes like hysterical, and he begins to cry. He screams and runs toward me so I can hold him," she said.

Angela Watkins, Jimmie Lucero's former girlfriend, painted a picture of a stormy relationship that she said ended with her leaving town to escape from her boyfriend.

Throughout her testimony, Watkins wiped away tears with her fingers and noticeably avoided eye contact with Lucero, a man she said she once cared for.

At first, Watkins said, Lucero was nice to her and they often dined together, but later he became jealous and controlling. One night, she said, the couple went out for dinner and Lucero suddenly attacked her when they arrived at his home. Lucero, Watkins testified, repeatedly punched her and kicked her 15-20 times in the shins and chest with his steel-toed boots.

On another occasion, Watkins said she stayed at her mother's house, and Lucero showed up late that night at the front door.

"He said, 'You come outside or I'll kill you or I'll kill your family," Watkins told the jury.

The woman said she thought Lucero would kill her, so she went with him to his house. Once there, Lucero cooled off and eventually went to the bathroom, leaving his gun on a nightstand.

"I picked up the gun and I was going to shoot him, but I couldn't pull the trigger," she said.

Watkins, who wept throughout her testimony, said Lucero, as he often did, apologized. She then walked out the door and began running, but Lucero insisted on driving her home and told her not to call the police. Eventually, Watkins said, she decided to leave town to avoid Lucero.

Defense attorney Joe Marr Wilson repeatedly grilled Watkins about why she never told anyone of the abuse and never called police until she eventually reported a burglary at her home.

"They're asking this jury to put a needle in his arm and now you want to talk about it?" Wilson asked the witness.

Watkins said she believed Lucero was responsible because nothing was taken, but she found bullets lying on her bed. The witness said she told friends about the abuse, but was too scared of Lucero to contact authorities until the burglary.

Prosecutor Chuck Slaughter also questioned Virginia Diaz, Watkins' former roommate, about an incident one night at the apartment she shared with Watkins, a cousin who was not home that night.

Diaz told jurors she and her boyfriend were sleeping when she awoke to find Lucero standing over her boyfriend, Eddie, with a cocked gun to his head. Diaz said she pleaded with Lucero to turn on the light so he could see Watkins was not in the bedroom. Lucero turned on the light, she said, but he appeared disappointed that his girlfriend was not in bed with another man.

"Jimmie was very upset, crying, telling Eddie how much he loved her ... he needed her in his life," Diaz said, "But he never trusted her."

The prosecution rested punishment-phase testimony Tuesday and the defense plans to call its first punishment witnesses today in 251st District Judge Pat Pirtle's court.


Jimmie Urbano Lucero



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