Gamez confession interviews can be evidence, judge decides
By CRAIG KAPITAN
Eagle Staff Writer
District Judge Steve Smith on Monday denied a request by accused murderer Omar Delarosa Gamez to throw out a series of interviews in which he confessed to killing a 17-year-old College Station woman.
The interviews, some of which were taken minutes after the Mexican national was extradited and arrived at Houston Intercontinental Airport last November, were submitted into evidence Monday as part of a pre-trial hearing.
“I’m doing it from the heart,” Gamez told investigators in Spanish at the time of the interviews. The transcripts of the confessions have since been translated into English.
“I’m accepting the error I made — an accident because of how drunk I was,” he continued.
Gamez is accused of fatally shooting Dorisella Roman at her College Station apartment in September 2000. The woman has been described by some who knew her as Gamez’s girlfriend and by others as his wife.
Roman’s 3-year-old son was in the Viking apartment when the body was discovered by a landlord seeking a late rent payment three days after she died.
Gamez, who was 21 at the time of the crime, is also charged with abandoning and endangering a child.
After receiving word that Gamez had fled to Mexico, police searched for him for 17 months before he was taken into Mexican custody in February 2002. He had been featured on an episode of America’s Most Wanted a year earlier.
Like all extraditions from the country, Mexican judicial officials agreed to send Gamez back to Texas under the condition that Brazos County prosecutors not seek the death penalty.
As such, he has not been indicted for capital murder, which would allow for such a punishment.
During a series of four interviews that spanned from Nov. 6 to 11, Gamez also led police to a gun he said was used in the shooting.
“He told us he buried it in the ground, it was in a shallow hole and he covered it back up with dirt,” College Station Det. Noe Rincones – who conducted the interviews – said of the .38 caliber revolver.
During the Monday hearing, defense attorney David Barron contended that the statements Gamez gave were not voluntary and that he had asked for an attorney to be present, but one was not. The man has only a sixth grade education, Barron said.
But prosecutor Shane Phelps pointed to numerous occasions in the interview transcript where the murder suspect said he wanted to talk. He also signed Miranda statements on more than one occasion.
“Anytime he could, he told us he wanted to talk to us voluntarily,” Rincones said on the stand.
No trial date has yet been set for Gamez but attorneys believe it will begin sometime in early 2004, they said Monday.
• Craig Kapitan’s e-mail address is email@example.com.