"...NO.. I won’t be the first to die because of shady evidence and
I’m probably not going to be the last. "
|Oct. 20, 2005,
HUNTSVILLE - Professing his innocence, Luis Ramirez was executed
Thursday night for organizing and carrying out what authorities said was
a murder-for-hire scheme that culminated in the shotgun slaying of a San
Angelo firefighter who was dating his ex-wife.
"I did not kill your loved one, but I hope that one day you find
out who did," Ramirez told four siblings of Nemecio Nandin. "I
wish I could tell you the reason why or give some kind of solace. You
lost someone you love very much, the same as my family and friends are
going to lose in a few minutes."
Ramirez was pronounced dead at 6:18 p.m.
Ramirez, 42, denied any involvement in the 1998 murder of Nandin, 29,
whose body was found in a shallow grave in a rural area about 25 miles
northeast of San Angelo.
source: Houston Chronicle - News
execution date: October 20, 2005
with Luis Ramirez # 999309 to be executed on October 20th 2005
Question.. Your name is Luis Ramirez ?
Q. So Luis the state plans to execute you on Oct. 20th is that right ?
A. That’s right.. It’s their plan
Q. What are you convicted of ?
A. Well, the state gives a choice here. I was either convicted of
murdering Nemicio Nandin . Or of paying to have him killed. Or both.
Q. Are you guilty of this ?
A. No… I am not..
Q. Why do they say he was killed ?
A. the DA said he was killed because I was jealous that he dated my
Q. Any truth to this?
A. I don’t know if he dated her or not. I had never heard of him until
he went missing
Q. What do you mean ?
A. They say he was killed on April 8th, 1998. A few days later I
don’t’ know the exact date.. I heard on my car radio that a man by
this name was missing. I didn’t know anyone by that name so I paid
very little attention to it.
Q. So you didn’t know him.
A. that’s right. I did not know him.
Q. Who do they say you paid to kill Mr. Nandin ?
A. A man named Edward Bell
Q. Did you pay him ?
A. No, I don’t even know him.
Q. How did they connect you to him ?
A. they claim we worked together.
Q. Did you ?
A. No, there were only a handful of people working in that office. I
knew them all. And he wasn’t one of them.
Q. Can you prove this ?
A. A simple check of the company’s employment records should do that.
I’ve mentioned it to my lawyer. But he hasn’t acted on it.
Q. Why not ? This would seem important
A. Who knows ? He’s a court appointed .. They don’t’ get much
money to help us. They do the minimum. They basically pay them only
enough to lose.
Q. Okay.. Who said that Bell worked there ?
A. I believe it was Tim Hoogstra. He’s the states star witness. He’s
also a paid informant. They have no tangible evidence in this case. They
want you to rely solely on Hoogstra’s testimony for everything.
Q. What else did this informant say ?
A. It’s basically “hearsay”. He said that Bell told him that I
paid him $1000. To murder Nandin. But that I did it myself. Bell never
testified . Nor has he ever given a statement to corroborate
Q. You’re saying you were convicted solely on this mans word ?
A. Yes, his testimony is all they have. There is no physical evidence,
forensic or scientific evidence. No DNA .. No witnesses.. No murder
weapon. No evidence of payment.. And they cannot place me at the crime
Q. You say they can’t place you at the crime scene ?
A. right.. I have an alibi witness. She places me at her property, 100
miles away.. At about the time the police say that Mr. Nandin was being
Q. And the jury heard this alibi ?
A. No, my trial lawyer never talked to her.
Q. Why not? Didn’t they know about her ?
A. I told the second chair attorney, Gonzalo Rios about her. He did most
of the leg work concerning the investigation. He had Ms. Raby’s ( my
alibi witness) information in his files. I can only guess at why he
didn’t’ talk to her. What I didn’t’ know back then. And what Mr.
Rios has never disclosed.. Is that he and his family were victim’s of
a capital murder .. His brother and a cousin were murdered together.
Another cousin was left wounded . Knowing that he’s a victim , it’s
not hard to imagine that his objectivity in this investigation may have
been compromised. His brother and cousin were shot with a shotgun at
close range. Mr. Rios may have identified with the victim’s family.
Maybe on some subconscious level he chose to overlook this alibi
witness.. I don’t’ know. What I do know is that if I had known he
was a victim I would not have wanted him to represent me.
Q. Has this alibi witness ever testified ?
A. Yes, she testified at an evidentiary hearing in April of 2001. It was
before Judge Ben Woodward. Her testimony directly contradicted
Hoogstra’s testimony about me being at the crime scene to commit this
Q. The jury didn’t hear this testimony ?
A. No .. Only the judge.
Q. What was his opinion ?
A. Well, its kind of absurd. He ruled that in his opinion , had the jury
heard this alibi testimony that it would not have made a difference in
the outcome of the trial.
Q. But you disagree “
A. Yes, Hoogstra’s testimony about me actually murdering Nandin had to
mislead the jury. Ms. Raby’s testimony would have served to impeach
him. Without Hoogstra’s testimony there is no case against me. Now,
after the fact, the state admits that I wasn’t there to kill Nandin
but they say it doesn’t matter. According to them. I’m still guilty
because I paid to have it done.
Q. What evidence do they have that you paid for this murder ?
A. None. Absolutely none. They have no bank records, cash, check, or
money order to support their theory. They want you to believe Hoogstra.
Who said that Bell told him he was paid. Even though the state admits
there are problems with his testimony. He was wrong when he said that
Bell told him I was there to actually commit this murder. Both of their
theories are not supported by any evidence. They want you to rely solely
on Hoogstra’s word.
Q. Can you tell me anything about Hoogstra that would call his
credibility into question ?
A. I don’t’ know him personally but I have learned various things
about him through the course of this case. I know that he’s a self
described daily drug abuser. He admitted he was getting high with Bell.
When Bell supposedly told him that I killed Nandin. He was Bell’s drug
dealer. The state paid him $500 prior to his testifying. They help some
shoplifting and other charges over him too. And he and Bell were
conspiring to murder a man named “Juan Lira”, this is after Nandin
went missing. Hoogstra was apparently going to pay Bell $500 to kill
him. It was in a dispute over drugs. He was a police informant. They
cleaned him up and trotted him before the jury. And not they admit that
what he said was wrong. He can hardly be seen as credible.
Q. So you didn’t even know Hoogstra ?
A. No.. I did not.
Q. Okay let’s go back to their jealousy theory.. Did your ex-wife
A. Yes, she said I was obsessed with her. That I’m not a nice guy and
that I threatened anyone she dated.
Q. Were you possessed with her ?
A. No. In fact the whole thing makes no sense. We did have our disputes.
But it was about her messing with my visitation with our kids.
Q. You said being obsessed with her makes no sense. Explain?
A. My ex-wife Dawn Holquin had been having affairs while we were still
married. We have been married about three months when she had her first
.. It was with some Arab dude she met in Utah. I knew about most of
them. I didn’t threaten or murder this Arab dude. And we were newly
weds. It makes no sense to kill somebody who may have been seeing her 3
years after our divorce .
Q. No, it doesn’t. the jury hear about this ?
A. No.. My lawyers didn’t’ want to bring it in. “Trial Stragegy”
they called it.
Q. You have another ex-wife don’t you ?
Q. Did she testify ? And what did she say about you being jealous ?
A. She did testify. She said that I am not a jealous man. And she’s
known me since I was 16.
Q. Is there anything about your trial that you’re not comfortable with
A. Oh yes.. It begins with jury selection. We did a shuffle. It’s
suppose to be random. But the computer left two jurors off the list. The
judge (Alcale) simple added them to the end. This isn’t random. Also
the state used strike to exclude a potential black juror..
Q. I just read the Miller-El Supreme Court ruling. Tell me more about
this. Did it result in an all white jury?
A. It did result in an all white jury. By agreement the DA and my
lawyers . Had agreed to release anyone under the age of 21 by
agreement.. And we did in fact release several young potential jurors.
Without so much as asking them one question. A young Black woman named
“Felicia Teagle “ was called. I think she was 20 at the time. And
instead of the DA (J. Bryan Clayton) asking to release her. He began to
question her . I told my lawyer (Randol Stout) that if the state
didn’t’ strike her to not ask her any questions . To just accept
her. He asked me why I wanted to do this.. And I told him that I liked
Ms. Teagle as a juror.. But that I felt we could make the state use one
of their strikes. I told him he would strike her because of her race.
Q. And did the DA strike her ?
A. Yeah.. He passed the witness and as soon as we accepted her he jumped
up and struck her. He had found nothing wrong with her during his
questioning . So we accused him of striking her because of her race. And
we had a Batson hearing. The DA agued that he struck her because of her
age. And even though we pointed out that everyone else her age was
released by agreement.. Judge Alcala sided with the state. Later, this
judge admitted he had made a bad ruling on this Batson hearing.. We were
down to picking the alternates and he offered to let us have Ms. Teagle
as an alternate.. Which is next to useless the alternates do not vote
Q. So you ended up with an all white jury ?
Q. Sounds like Miller-El material to me ..
A. Tell it to my lawyer. He won’t raise it that way.
Q. Anything else ?
A. Well just that the state’s case is so weak that several times the
jury was deadlocked. This is why Ms. Raby’s alibi testimony would have
been so important… I believe that had they heard her it would have
made the difference between guilt or innocence. The case is so weak.
That while the jury was deliberating guilt or innocence I was offered a
20 year sentence in exchange for a guilty plea.. Had I been guilty I
would have taken that. And I wouldn’t be facing death now.
Q. Okay let me see if I have this straight .. The state says you
murdered Nandin out of jealousy ?
Q. But you can prove you are not jealous ?
Q. And you can prove you didn’t kill Nandin. You were not there when
he was killed?
A. Right. Using Hoogstras’ testimony they mislead the jury into
believing that I actually killed Nandin Bow they admit that I didn’t
Q. But they say you’re still guilty because you paid , right ?
A. That’s what they say. But the only proof of payment comes from
Hoogstras testimony. And he’s already been proven to be unreliable.
Q. Is there anywhere that a person can find more information about your
A. Yes there is a web site with my information on this case ..
Q. Okay this case does seem thin. And based on this seemingly faulty
information. You face an execution ?
Q. Tell me about yourself .. Even been in trouble with the law.
A. No .. Before this case I had a clean record.. Not so much as a
Q. Tell me about yourself personally.
A. Well I have three wonderful children. I was a doting dad. I’m a
veteran of the U.S. Military. I was still serving as a combat medic in
the reserves. I had a decent job. I worked for a mortgage company. I let
a very quiet life. I was either at work or at home I wasn’t running
the streets. Or getting into trouble.
Q. How are your family and friends taking this execution date ?
A. Well my mom and family are taking it very hard.. My friends , well
everyone is afraid. My oldest son is taking it real hard too. I
don’t’ know if my youngest kids know about it. My ex forbids me any
form of contact with them. I don’t even know where they live anymore.
Q. You say you’re an innocent man heading to the death house.. Do you
believe that you will be the first ?
A. No. I do not. For many years the state of Texas proudly proclaimed
that they had never executed an innocent man.. They cannot say that
anymore. They murdered Cameron Todd Willingham.. I didn’t’ know Mr.
Willingham but I read about his case. He was convicted of arson/murder
that took the lives of his daughters. Arson Investigators at the time
said that “spider” webbing on the glass and burn patterns on the
floor proved it was arson. More modern studies have concluded that these
are not indications of arson. These are common in most fires. Mr.
Willingham professed his innocence until the moment of his death. His
please fell on deaf ears. Ironically the same evidence that got Mr.
Willingham murdered by the state set Ernest Willis free. He was also
convicted of an arson/murder based on the same type of evidence. And the
state still has the audacity to say that the death penalty is not
applied in an arbitrary or capricious manner.
So NO.. I won’t be the first to die because of shady evidence and
I’m probably not going to be the last.
Q. Any personal message you’d like to get out ?
A. Yeah.. To my children.. I want them to know that I’ve always loved
them. And that will never stop. To my family and friends.. That I love
them too. And to be strong for me.. Let’s keep hope alive that
something good will happen before October 20th..
WHAT'S IN THE BROWN PAPER
What's In the Brown Paper Bag ?
By Luis Ramirez #999309
I'm about the share with you a story who's telling is long past due.
It's a familiar story to most of you reading this from death row. And
now it's one that all of you in "free world" may benefit from.
This is the story of my first day on the row.
I came here in May of 1999. The exact date is something that I can't
I do remember arriving in the afternoon . I was placed in a cell on H-20
wing over at the Ellis Unit in Huntsville, Tx. A Tsunami of emotions and
thoughts were going through my mind at the time. I remember the only
things in the cell were a mattress, pillow, a couple of sheets, a pillow
case, a roll of toilet paper ,, and a blanket .. I remember sitting
there, utterly lost.
The first person I met there was Napolean Beasley. Back then, death row
prisoners still worked . His job at the time was to clean up the wing
and help serve during meal times. He was walking around sweeping the pod
in these ridiculous looking rubber boots. He came up to the bars on my
cell and asked me if I was new.. I told him that I had just arrived on
d/r. He asked what my name is. I told him., not seeing any harm in it.
He then stepped back where he could see all three tiers. He hollered at
everyone, "There's a new man here. He just drove up. His name is
When he did that, I didn't know what to make of it at first. I thought I
some kind of mistake. You see ? Like most of you, I was of the
impression that everyone on d/r was evil. I thought I would find hundreds of
Lecter's in here. And now , they all knew my name. I thought "Oh
well," that's strike one. I was sure that they would soon begin
harassing me. This is what happens in the movies after all.
Well, that's not what happened . After supper was served. Napolean was
once again sweeping the floors. As he passed my cell, He swept a brown
paper bag into it. I asked him "What's this"? He said for me
to look inside and continued on his way . Man, I didn't know what to
expect. I was certain it was something bad. Curiosity did get the best
of me though. I carefully opened the bag. What I found was the last
thing I ever expected to find on death row, and everything I needed. The
bag contained some stamps, envelopes notepad, pen, soap, shampoo,
toothpaste, tooth brush, a pastry, a soda, and a couple of Ramen
noodles. I remember asking Napolean where this came from ?
He told me that everyone had pitched in . That they knew that I didn't
have anything and that it may be a while before I could get them. I
asked him to find out who had contributed . I wanted to pay them back.
He said, "It's not like that . Just remember the next time you see
someone come here like you.You pitch in something ?"
I sat there on my bunk with my brown paper bag of goodies, and thought
about what had just happened to me. The last things I expected to find
on death row was kindness and generosity. I thought of how many times I
had seen "good people" of the world, pass by some man, woman,
or child holding a sign that read, "Hungry, or will work for
food." I'm guilty of the same. I just passed them by. By the
end of the block, or upon reaching my destination . That poor, hungry,
tattered, and perhaps dirty , soul had
been forgotten. Lost among my daily challenges and struggles with life.
Yet, here on death row Among the worst of the worst . I didn't have to
hold up a sign.
They knew what I needed and they took it upon themselves to meet those
They did this without any expectation of reimbursement or compensation.
They did this for a stranger, not a known friend. I don't know what they
felt when they committed this act of incredible kindness. I only know
that like them,, twelve "good people" had deemed me beyond
redemption. The only remedy that these "good people" could
offer us, is death. Somehow what these "good people" saw and
what I was seeing didn't add up. How could these men, who just showed me
so much, humanity, be considered the "worst of the worst."
It chills me to my core when I think about it. Those twelve "good
people" were given this enormous God like responsibility . They had
to decide who lives, and who dies. The state of Texas gave them this
responsibility. But they didn't give them any God like training. I'm
sure that they all meant well. They probably thought, as the DA and
judge told them, that they were doing their civic duty. I personally
have never considered murder a civic duty. That aside, how many times
have we gotten this wrong ? I'm on the
inside looking out now. I have that advantage over you. So I can tell
you this. I have yet to meet a man here who I feel is beyond redemption.
If you took a good look, and I invite you to do that, You may just come
to realize how often you have been wrong.
Ever since Napolean was executed, for a crime he committed as a teen.
I've wanted to share this story with his family. I've never been able to
find anyone with their address. If anyone out there can share this with
them, I would appreciate it very much. I would like for them to know
that their son was a good man. One who I will never forget. I want for
them to know how sorry I am that we as a society failed them and him. I
still find it
ridiculous that we as a people feel that we cannot teach or love our
young properly. I'm appalled at the idea that a teen is beyond
redemption, that the only solution that we can offer is death. It's
tragic that this is being pointed out to the "good people" by
one of the "worst of the worst." God help us all.
What's in the brown paper bag? I found caring, kindness, love, humanity,
and compassion of a scale that I've never seen the "good
people" in the free world show towards one another.
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, Texas 77351
Memory - Napoleon Baezley
Was ist in dem
Ich werde Euch eine
Geschichte erzählen, die schon lange erzählt gehört hätte. Es ist für
jene von Euch, die das hier im Todestrakt lesen, eine bekannte
Geschichte. Und jetzt ist sie eine, von der Ihr in der "freien
Welt" etwas lernen könnt. Das ist die Geschichte meines ersten
Tages im Trakt.
Ich kam im Mai 1999 hier an. An das genaue Datum kann ich mich nicht
Ich kann mich erinnern, am Nachmittag angekommen zu sein. Ich wurde in
eine Zelle im H-20 Flügel des Ellis Gefängnisses in Huntsville,
Texas,untergebracht. Zu diesem Zeitpunkt ging ein Sturm von Emotionen
und Gedanken durch meinen Kopf. Ich kann mich erinnern, dass in der
Zelle nichts anderes war als eine Matratze, ein Kopfkissen, einige
Laken, ein Kissenüberzug, eine Rolle Klopapier und eine Decke. Ich
erinnere mich,wie ich da saß, im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes verloren.
Der erste Mann, den ich dort kennen lernte, war Napoleon Beazley. Damals
arbeiteten die Todestraktgefangenen noch. Sein Job war es damals, den Flügel
zu reinigen und bei der Ausgabe der Mahlzeiten zu helfen. Er ging herum
und wischte in seinen lustig aussehenden Gummistiefeln den Boden auf. Er
kam zu den Gitterstäben meiner Zelle und fragte mich, ob ich neu sei.
Ich sagte ihm, dass ich gerade erst im Todestrakt angekommen war.
Er fragte mich nach meinem Namen und ich nannte ihn, da ich kein Problem
darin sah. Dann ging er ein wenig zurück und schrie allen zu: "Es
gibt einen Neuen. Er ist gerade erst gekommen. Sein Name ist Luis
Als er das tat wusste ich erst mal nicht, was ich davon halten sollte.
Ich dachte, dass ich irgendeinen Fehler gemacht habe. Versteht Ihr? Wie
die meisten von Euch dachte ich, dass jedermann im Todestrakt böse ist.
Ich dachte, dass ich hier auf Hunderte von "Hannibal Lecters"
treffen würde. Und jetzt wussten sie alle meinen Namen. Ich dachte:
"Na gut, das ist der erste Schlag." Ich war sicher, dass sie
bald beginnen würden mich zu belästigen. So geschieht es doch schließlich
immer in den Filmen.
Und folgendes geschah: Nachdem das Abendessen gebracht worden ist
wischte Napoleon noch einmal die Böden auf. Als er an meiner Zelle
vorbei kam, warf er einen braunen Papiersack hinein. Ich fragte ihn:
"Was ist das?" Er sagte mir, dass ich hineinsehen sollte und
ging weiter. Mann, ich hatte keine Ahnung, was ich erwarten sollte. Ich
war sicher, dass es etwas Böses ist. Die Neugierde siegte. Ich öffnete
den Sack ganz vorsichtig. Was ich fand war das Letzte, was ich im
Todestrakt erwartet hatte, und alles was ich brauchte. Im Sack befanden
sich einige Briefmarken, Kuverts, ein Block, ein Kugelschreiber, Seife,
Shampoo, Zahnpasta, eine Zahnbürste, ein Kuchen, ein Erfrischungsgetränk
und einige Nudelgerichte. Ich erinnere mich, dass ich Napoleon fragte,
woher das alles kam.
Er sagte mir, dass alle etwas gegeben haben. Dass sie wüssten, dass ich
nichts habe und es eine Weile dauern würde, bis ich etwas besorgen könnte.
Ich bat ihn darum herauszufinden, wer etwas gegeben hat. Ich wollte es
ihnen zurückgeben. Er sagte: "So läuft das nicht. Erinnere dich
einfach daran, etwas hineinzuwerfen, wenn das nächste Mal jemand wie du
Ich saß da mit meinem braunen Sack voller guter Dinge auf meiner Bank
und dachte an das, was mir gerade passiert war. Das Letzte, das ich im
Todestrakt erwartet hätte waren Freundlichkeit und Großzügigkeit. Ich
dachte daran, wie oft ich gesehen habe, wie "gute Menschen" an
einem Mann, einer Frau oder einem Kind vorbeigegangen waren, die ein
Schild mit "Hunger" oder "arbeite für Essen"
hochgehalten haben. Auch ich bin desselben Verhaltens schuldig. Ich ging
einfach an ihnen vorbei. Am Ende des Häuserblocks oder beim Erreichen
meines Zieles war die hungrige, lumpige und wahrscheinlich schmutzige
Seele bereits vergessen, verloren unter meinen täglichen
Herausforderungen und Kämpfen im Leben. Und hier im Todestrakt, unter
den Schlimmsten der Schlimmen, musste ich nicht einmal ein Schild
Sie wussten was ich brauchte und sie übernahmen es, mir damit zu
Sie taten dies, ohne irgendeine Rückzahlung zu erwarten. Sie taten dies
für einen Fremden, nicht für einen guten Freund. Ich weiß nicht was
sie fühlten, als sie diese unglaubliche Freundlichkeit zeigten. Ich weiß
nur, dass zwölf "gute Menschen" sie genauso wie mich als
unverbesserlich eingestuft haben. Die einzige Besserung, die diese
"guten Menschen" uns bieten konnten war der Tod. Irgendwie
passt das, was diese "guten Menschen" gesehen haben und was
ich sehe nicht zusammen. Wie können diese Männer, die mir soviel
Menschlichkeit bewiesen haben, als die "Schlimmsten der
Schlimmen" angesehen werden?
Es erschreckt mich bis ins Mark wenn ich darüber nachdenke. Diesen zwölf
"guten Menschen" wurde diese enorme, gottähnliche
Verantwortung übertragen. Sie mussten entscheiden wer lebt und wer
stirbt. Der Staat Texas gab ihnen diese Verantwortung. Doch er gab ihnen
kein gottähnliches Training. Ich bin sicher, dass sie es alle gut
gemeint haben. Sie dachten sicherlich, dass sie, wie die
Staatsanwaltschaft und der Richter ihnen sagten, ihre Bürgerpflicht erfüllten.
Ich persönlich habe Mord niemals als Bürgerpflicht angesehen. Und außerdem,
wie oft hat man sich geirrt? Ich habe jetzt das Insiderwissen darüber.
Diesen Vorteil habe ich Euch voraus. Also kann ich Euch das erklären.
Ich habe bis jetzt keinen Mann hier getroffen, der sich nicht verbessern
Wenn Ihr gut nachseht, und ich lade Euch ein das zu tun, müsst Ihr
erkennen, wie oft Ihr falsch gelegen habt.
Seit man Napoleon hingerichtet hat, für ein Verbrechen, dass er als
Jugendlicher begangen hat, wollte ich diese Geschichte mit seiner
Familie teilen. Ich konnte niemals jemanden finden, der ihre Adresse
wusste. Wenn irgendjemand da draußen sie ihnen erzählen könnte, wäre
ich dafür sehr dankbar. Ich möchte, dass sie wissen, dass ihr Sohn ein
guter Mann war, einer den ich niemals vergessen werde. Ich möchte, dass
sie wissen, wie leid es mir tut, dass wir als Gesellschaft bei ihm und
ihnen versagt haben. Ich bin von dem Gedanken schockiert, dass ein
Jugendlicher sich nicht bessern könnte, dass die einzige Lösung die
wir anbieten können der Tod ist. Es ist tragisch, dass die "guten
Menschen" von einem der "Schlimmsten der Schlimmsten"
darauf hingewiesen werden müssen. Möge Gott uns allen helfen.
Was ist in dem braunen Papiersack? Ich fand Sorge, Nettigkeit, Liebe,
Menschlichkeit und Mitgefühl, wie ich es niemals gesehen habe, dass die
"guten Menschen" in der freien Welt einander zeigen.
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, Texas 77351