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  1. #1
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    May 2007

    SC:Judge: Confession to be entered in Hernandez murder trial

    Judge: Confession to be entered in Hernandez murder trial

    Published Tuesday July 24 2007


    BLUFFTON -- Soon after being charged with the murder of a Hilton Head Island man, Victor Manuel Sandoval Hernandez waived his rights and confessed to the slaying, first orally and then in writing, investigators testified Monday.
    Hernandez' statements will be allowed into evidence when his trial begins Wednesday in Beaufort, Judge Perry M. Buckner III has ruled.

    Hernandez, 28, of Hilton Head, is accused of shooting 35-year-old Rogelio Enrique Hernandez-Garcia three times with a .38-caliber pistol after midnight on Jan. 28, 2006. The shooting followed an argument at an engagement party at Hernandez-Garcia's mobile home on Little Garden Path Road, near Bryant Road. The two men are not related.

    Victor Hernandez is charged with murder and possession of a firearm during a violent crime.

    Hernandez' attorney argued that his confession should not be presented at the trial because the illegal Mexican immigrant doesn't speak much English and did not understand the U.S. judicial process. The defense argued statements should have been taped or monitored by a detective who was not involved in the questioning.

    Hernandez was read his Miranda rights in Spanish twice, first when he was arrested and again before an interview started about 13 hours after the slaying, two Beaufort County sheriff's investigators testified.

    At one point, the detectives inquired about Hernandez' immigration status. "Adding that to the conversation could be considered coercive in nature," said assistant public defender Trasi Campbell, who is representing Hernandez.

    She also argued that Hernandez may have been unaware he was being interviewed by law enforcement officers because they were dressed in plain clothes and the Sheriff's Office on Hilton Head doesn't have signs in Spanish.

    The two investigators, one of whom speaks Spanish, said Hernandez was cooperative during the one-hour interview and told them he understood his rights. He admitted to the shooting just two questions into the interview, eventually writing out what happened in his own hand, they said.

    "The statements were given freely and voluntarily by Mr. Hernandez," said Deputy Solicitor Angela McCall-Tanner. "Based on (the investigators' testimony) his first answer was, 'I did this.'"

    Buckner said Hernandez must have been aware he was with law enforcement officers when he was handcuffed and placed in the back of a patrol car. His statement was given freely, voluntarily and without coercion, Buckner said.

    Opening statements are scheduled to begin Wednesday morning at the Beaufort County Courthouse. Hernandez' fate will be in the hands of a jury of five women and seven men selected Monday. If convicted, he faces at least 30 years in prison.

    Copyright 2007 The Beaufort Gazette • May not be republished in any form without the express written permission of the publisher. ... 6283c.html

  2. #2
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    May 2006
    Illegal Immigrant in Beaufort County Sentenced to 40 Years

    An illegal Mexican immigrant will spend the next 40 years behind bars for killing a Hilton Head Island man.

    A Beaufort County jury found Victor Hernandez guilty of shooting and killing Rogelio Garcia during an engagement party Garcia was hosting at his home on the island back in January 2006.

    Hernandez was sentenced to 35 years for the murder and another five years for possessing a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. After serving his time, Hernandez will be deported. ... 7&nav=0qq6
    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at

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