Eva Daley on Trial
Posted by shadmia on October 2, 2008
Eva Daley, 31, will never be called the “World’s Greatest Mom” or any variation of that title. If fact Eva Daley will be very lucky if she is ever called a “free woman” again. She has been in jail since being accused of helping her 14-year-old son, Mauricio Rivera, and his friends kill 13-year-old Jose “Bobby” Cano on June 25, 2007 in what has been called a gang-related murder. She and one of her son’s friends, 17-year-old Heriberto Garcia, are both on trial, jointly charged with first-degree murder. They face 25 years to life, if convicted. See a previous report on this case here.
A total 7 kids ranging in age between 14 and 17 were arrested along with Daley. Six of them: Daley’s son, Mauricio Rivera, Juan Bautista, Alejandro Flores, Jakkia Ross, Carlos Jimenez and Edwin Moran have already been tried in juvenile court. All but Flores have pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter and can be held in juvenile prison until the age of 26. Flores’ sentencing, or disposition as it is called in juvenile court, is scheduled for Oct. 8.
Only 17-year-old Heriberto Garcia has been charged as an adult, meaning he faces the same possible maximum sentence as Daley: 25 years to life in state prison.
It all began on the night of June 25, 2007. Eva Daley is accused of driving the kids around in search of the LT (Latin Thugs) gang members. They wanted revenge after Jose Cano and his gang attacked Daley’s home with roadside flares and slapped her, and because Cano had stabbed Daley’s son in an incident six months prior, the prosecution alleges. Her son’s gang the LMS (Los Marijuana Smokers) had a long standing rivalry with the LTs.
The LMS eventually found members of the LT in a park. Daley stopped her SUV, the kids all piled out, running towards them and a fight ensued. Jose Cano was caught, while trying to flee, by the LMS.
What happened next is described by homicide detective Daniel Mendoza, who testified at the trial. He interviewed Heriberto Garcia who admitted he “poked” the victim with his pocketknife while his cohorts beat the 13-year-old to the ground.
Mendoza said Garcia described all his friends punching and kicking the victim, and some of the other suspects hitting their rival with metal pipes, wood sticks or bats and a weapon Garcia called a “shank,” which the defendant described as a piece of metal sharpened at one end.
Garcia went on to describe his part of the attack, saying he stabbed the victim twice, then kicked him several times and punched him.
“We’re you concerned that you might have hurt the guy?” Mendoza asked.
“At first (no) Then I realized I hurt him,” Garcia said.
“And that’s when you put your knife back in your pocket,” Mendoza said.
“Yeah,” Garcia said.
One of the kids involved in the attack Edwin Moran was interviewed about his role in the fight that night, his comments were recorded by the police and played during the trial.
On the recording Moran claimed he tried to punch the dying Cano when he began to stand up, but missed, and then tried to kick the victim, but missed again, losing his Nike sneaker. He identified the shoe as one of three found at the murder scene by police.
In his interview, Moran said, “(Garcia) said, ‘I got him, I shanked that vato.’ … He had blood on his shirt and he was kind of shaking.”
That prompted several in the SUV to start yelling at Garcia, Moran told police.
“Somebody else said, ‘Why’d you do it, what the f—?'” Moran said in the recording. “People was tripping, I was tripping.”
Detectives asked Moran if Daley knew what they were going to do that night and he said, “Yeah, I guess. … She probably just thought we were going to beat them up.”
Later on in the interview, he told police, “She was telling (Garcia), ‘Why did you do that?’ She said, ‘You’re f—— nuts, you’re going to get caught up.'”
In court Moran claimed he could not remember what happened even after listening to his recorded interview. He insisted he never saw the other defendant do anything to the victim and that he wasn’t trying to set Garcia up.
“I know that we didn’t intend to go kill anybody,” the 18-year-old said.
During the trial the DA also called a local resident who testified he was standing near the alley at Locust Avenue and 14th Street one block east of Pine, when he saw a white Chevy Tahoe stop abruptly at the end of the alley. The witness said he hid behind a palm tree after he saw several boys jump out of the truck and run toward 14th Street. Within two to three minutes, he saw a woman run back toward the truck, followed by the boys, he said.
“The lady came and started the car and she started yelling, ‘Let’s go, let’s go, come on, come on,'” the man said. “I heard one of the boys say, ‘We slashed him good.'”
A mother of one of Cano’s friends testified that she arrived shortly after the stabbing and found kids passing and carrying the limp and bloody 13-year-old from person to person around the park and street. He was eventually placed in her car, still alive, and she drove him to St. Mary Medical Center where he died, she testified.
Cano was conscious throughout the drive, struggling to breathe and to talk, she recalled.
She identified investigator’s photos of her blood-soaked car and said she drove the entire way with one hand on the boy’s gushing chest wound, using her free hand to steer and shift gears.
“He was telling me ‘LMS, LMS,'” she said. “He was trying to talk, but all that came out was the three words ‘LMS.'”
In closing arguments Eva Daley was described by the prosecution as a woman seeking revenge for her son’s stabbing last winter. Deputy District Attorney John Lonergan told the jury that Daley knew what the teens planned to do to the rival gang. The jury of 11 women and 1 man will next begin deliberating the fate of Eva Daley and Heriberto Garcia.