Vasquez, Pablo Lucio
Date of Birth
Age (when Received) - 21
(Highest Grade Completed) - 8
Date of Offense:
Age (at the time of Offense) - 20
Prior Prison Record: None
Summary of incident
On 04/18/98, during the nighttime, in Donna, Texas, the subject and co-defendant,
Andy Chapa, murdered a 12-year old Hispanic male. Vasquez struck the
victim in the head with a piece of pipe and a shovel. The victim's
body was buried behind a residence located on Stites Road and FM 493.
Vasquez took a ring and a necklace from the victim. Vasquez and the co-defendant
had met the victim at a local party.
Race and Gender of Victim
Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Death penalty given in boy's death
Saturday, February 13, 1999
EDINBURG (AP) - Jurors on Friday sentenced to death
a South Texas man who admitted killing a boy and drinking his blood.
Jurors deliberated for six hours Thursday and
Friday before deciding that 21-year-old Pablo Lucio Vasquez should
receive the death penalty for killing David Cardenas.
Vasquez was expressionless as he stood and listened
to the verdict, impassive as he had been through weeks of graphic
testimony and evidence.
"He deserves to die for killing my 12-year-old
son," said Oralia Palacios, the mother of victim David Cardenas. "He
acted like a coward. Why couldn't he find someone his own size?"
Several of Cardenas' family members, who were
advised not to react audibly, were in the courtroom when the verdict
was read. Cardenas' older sister, Hilda Cantu, the last relative to
see Cardenas alive, clasped her hands throughout the reading of the
verdict and began weeping silently when she heard Vasquez sentenced to
"It's a big relief," Ms. Cantu said. "It's a big
weight lifted off our shoulders."
Vasquez' mother, Maria Vasquez, said her son is
sorry for what he did.
"I would like to extend an apology to the (Cardenas)
family," Ms. Vasquez said. "(Vasquez) was a good son. He was loved by
his family and friends. I can't believe something like this would
Cardenas was one of only two homicide victims in
1998 in the border town of Donna. His body was found under aluminum
slabs in a vacant field on April 22. The boy had been scalped, both
his arms and a foot were cut off and some of his teeth were missing.
He was killed on the night of April 17-18. Cardenas
had been living with his sister Sandra Ramirez in the nearby town of
Alamo and was supposed to spend the weekend at his aunt's house in
On April 17, Ms. Cantu dropped the boy off at a
store with the understanding he was to meet a friend there. Cardenas
ended up attending a party with Vasquez and Vasquez' 15-yearold cousin
After the party, Vasquez killed Cardenas. He struck
the boy with a metal pipe, slashed his neck and drank the boy's blood,
Vasquez confessed to police. Vasquez and Chapa then dragged the boy to
the field and attempted to bury him, Vasquez said.
Vasquez said at one point he tried to remove the
boy's head with a shovel and also took the boy's jewelry. He said the
"devil" and other voices urged him on during the crime.
Robbery became the prosecution's official motive,
although police speculate that the killing was linked to an occult
Ms. Ramirez did not report her brother missing
until April 20 because she thought he had been with relatives the
The boy's death is something Donna residents can't
"I've seen so many murders and gone to suicides
where they practically blow their heads off but I think this case of
this 12year-old boy, you just can't forget this," said Donna Police
Chief Miguel Carreon. "It could have been anybody's little child. It
could have been mine."
Carreon said Cardenas, Vasquez and Chapa had
similar family backgrounds. Carreon believes more parental involvement
in the three young men's lives could have prevented the series of
events that resulted in Cardenas' death.
"Society should understand that if we don't pay
attention to the way we're bringing kids up something's going to
happen to them," Carreon said. "It was a wake-up call for Donna."
Since the killing, citizens have become more
involved in reporting crimes, particularly gang-related crime, Carreon
said. An armory was donated to the local Boys and Girls Club and
Carreon regularly lectures schoolchildren about taking pride in
themselves and their town.
Chapa still faces a capital murder charge. If
convicted, the maximum penalty he faces will be a life prison sentence
because he was a juvenile at the time of the killing. Six others are
accused of helping to cover up the crime.
Confession tells of drinking victim's blood
Wednesday, January 27, 1999
EDINBURG (AP) - A South Texas man said the devil
told him to kill a teen-ager and he later drank the boy's blood,
according to a videotaped confession played for jurors Tuesday.
Pablo Lucio Vasquez is accused of killing and
mutilating David Cardenas. The 12-year-old was partying with Vasquez
and others on the night of April 17-18 when he was killed.
His body was found five days later, scalped and
dismembered under some aluminum slabs in a vacant field in Donna.
"One side of my head said, `You did wrong,' "
Vasquez said on the tape, which was recorded on April 23, the day
after he was arrested. "The other side said, `Keep doing it. Keep
In the tape, Vasquez said he and Andy Chapa, also
accused of Cardenas' murder, were both drunk that night. Vasquez told
investigators he had also had cocaine and marijuana then.
After hitting Cardenas with a metal pipe, Vasquez
recalled, he slit the boy's throat with a knife. Vasquez said he then
hoisted the boy on his shoulder and drank the blood that was flowing
freely from Cardenas' wound.frsChaparca
"My face was covered with his blood," Vasquez said.
"He was saying something. He was mumbling or something."
Vasquez told police he tried to remove the boy's
head with a shovel, but denied mutilating the body. The defendant said
he was sorry he killed Cardenas and that he thought of suicide after
"I wanted to kill myself, too," Vasquez said on the
Robbery is the official motive in the killing since
the boy's jewelry was taken. Vasquez admitted on tape to taking the
boy's ring and chain.
The timing of the killing and the way the boy was
killed led Donna police to speculate on a link to the occult, however.
Seven others are accused in the crime. Chapa, 15,
is charged with capital murder and will stand trial as an adult. Six
others, including two teen-age girls, are accused of helping to cover
up the killing.