death penalty news—-TEXAS

Dec. 7


DA to seek death penalty for man charged in LBJ student's death

Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg said Monday that
prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Areli Carbajal Escobar,
charged with capital murder in the May slaying of his 17-year-old neighbor
at an East Austin apartment complex.

Escobar, 30, is accused of sexually assaulting and fatally stabbing Bianca
Maldonado, an LBJ High School student. Police have said that Escobar
attacked Bianca when she was alone in her familys apartment with her
1-year-old son, minutes after her mother and sister left at 3 a.m. to
deliver newspapers.

"I believe the facts of this case represent an extreme level of violence,"
Lehmberg said in explaining her decision to seek death. "Coupled with
Escobar's history of violence, I have concluded that he will pose a threat
to the public safety and that includes individuals that he might come in
contact with inside the penitentiary."

If Escobar is convicted, the jury will choose between a sentence of life
in prison without parole or death.

Escobar's defense lawyer, Steve Brittain, said the charge against his
client "isn't consistent with the kind of person that he's been."

(Escobar's) family members believe "he is not a person that they believe
would be capable of this," Brittain said. "Of course that is true in a lot
of cases. It will all come out in the trial."

Jaqueline Hernandez, Bianca's mother, said last month that she asked for
the death penalty against Escobar.

"I will only find peace if he dies," she said. "If he stays forever in
jail, his family can see him, but I cannot ever see my girl again."

Sometime during the May 31 attack, Escobars girlfriend, Zoe Lopez, who had
been asleep with him in his apartment, realized Escobar had left and began
calling Escobar, police said.

About 4:15 a.m., on Lopezs fourth call to Escobar, the line connected and
Lopez heard a woman moaning and screaming for about 10 minutes, police
said. Later that morning, Escobar arrived at his mothers house with a
bloody shirt, police said.

Maldonado has been remembered as a solid student who took Advanced
Placement courses and made a B average.

(source: Austin American-Statesman)