Salazar, 24, was stabbed 32 times, Jacob was stabbed 19 times and Perez was stabbed 35 times. Villegas took the television and a vehicle from the home. He later pawned the television for money to buy drugs.
Villegas was sentenced to death in Nueces County in May 2002.
Excerpts From Court of Appeals for the Fifth CircuitA jury convicted Villegas of capital murder for killing his girlfriend, Erida Perez Salazar, her three-year-old son Jacob, and her mother, Alma Perez. At approximately 9:15 a.m. on January 22, 2001, Lionicio Perez returned home after being excused early from jury service. Mr. Perez found his wife [sic] bruised body lying lifeless in a pool of blood. He ran to a neighbor’s house, asked his neighbor to call the police, and returned to find the bodies of his daughter and grandson. When the police arrived, a neighbor said that she saw Villegas leaving the Perez home at approximately 8:45 a.m.
At approximately 9:30 a.m., the police spotted Villegas in Ms. Salazar’s vehicle. The police apprehended Villegas after a high-speed chase and foot pursuit. Villegas had three baggies of cocaine in his possession when arrested. After being advised of his rights, Villegas confessed to the three murders.
Villegas described how he arrived at the Perez home at 5:00 a.m. that morning. He and Ms. Salazar consumed around $200 of cocaine. After Mrs. Perez returned home from taking Ms. Salazar’s daughter to school, she discovered Villegas’ presence in the home. Mrs. Perez had previously warned her daughter not to let Villegas enter the house. When Mrs. Perez ordered Villegas to leave, he stabbed her several times with a kitchen knife. Villegas then went to a bedroom and stabbed Ms. Salazar and her son to death. Villegas left in Ms. Salazar’s vehicle, pawned a television he stole from the Perez home, and bought more cocaine. Villegas told the police that he wanted to return to the Perez home to commit suicide by overdosing on cocaine, but fled when he saw police already in the home.