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The Pain of Injustice

Amanda's Story

Amanda’s Service

Amanda Pierce

March 29, 1983 — May 20, 2015

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Kimberly, and I am Amanda’s older sister.

Even though today is tragic and such a sad event, I pray that everyone can have hope that she is no longer suffering from the battle here on earth but experiencing a love she never knew. Amanda would have wanted us to celebrate her life and share fond memories with a smile on our face. Let’s not dwell on our significant loss, but instead focus on paying tribute to Amanda’s life.

One thing we all can agree on is that she Loved her children, she loved my children, she loved Brian’s children and she loved Vivian’s children. When going through 1000’s of pictures this week, honestly I think she was mom’s favorite because after she was born, she was in a most of them, I saw how much she enjoyed each one of hers and our babies. She was so drawn to children and they connected with her so easily. Always smiling and laughing with them.

She always had a smile on her face even on her darkest days. One thing she would say is “it’s all good”. Being able to talk to people who knew and loved her over the past 2 weeks shows me how much she made such an impact on their lives.

Many of us know that Amanda struggled with the loss of my father, brother, mother and sister. She had a lot of guilt, pain and grief that she carried around but still wore this mask that everything was ok. After Vivian and Mom died in 2009, it seemed the struggle intensified. She blamed herself, and no matter how much we tried to convince her, she bought into the lie that she could have done something to save them.

The last couple of years have been the hardest for all that love her. To watch her decline and struggle hurt all of us. I personally was a few decisions away from being exactly where she was, using something other than God to ease the pain and hurt inside. We all if we are honest tend to fill the hole in our hearts with something. That hole is intentionally placed there by God, and it is there to remind us that we need to depend on Him for strength, peace and rest, but because of our free will that he has given us, we get to choose what we fill it with. The numbing we tend to use is only temporary and does not bring any kind of peace. It’s destructive and tears us away from knowing the love of God.

I don’t want anyone to leave here tonight not knowing that inspite of Amanda’s daily, even hourly struggle that she did not love God, and know Jesus. She was saved, and accepted Christ at a younger age. But that’s where her battle began. Satan used hurt, pain, and past familiar family coping skills to blind her and lie to her about God’s love for her. His goal is to destroy us here on earth so our testimony about God’s incredible love and sacrifice becomes tarnished. God did not cause this tragedy, but choices made here on Earth by others did. What she endured just to survive breaks my heart, but I know God will use what was intended for harm and evil, for good. He will use this tragedy and other tragedies in our family’s lives to bring something beautiful and good to others. That is where my hope and peace comes from.

Tonight, if you don’t know Christ, I pray you talk to God about that. But if you do know Christ, you have to know that our struggles here are not a question of your salvation but a journey to the “promise land” of peace and rest here on earth. We don’t get saved to just hold our breath and get into heaven. But to live under promises made to us throughout the Bible. The bible is a love story to us.

I have heard a 100 times, how do you deal with so much death and hurt? You are so strong…. The bible tells me when people ask you where does your hope come from, that’s when I’m supposed to tell them about God and what He has done for me and about my journey. Let me tell you, it has been a journey to realize how much God loves me…His love for me never changes no matter my mistakes or decisions. My perception of that Love is what has changed. You only know love and can give love to the measure of how you are loved here, starting with your earthly father and mother. No parent is perfect but how you love your own children starts that journey. I have forgiven my father, because I know he loved us the best he knew how. The love he showed my son Kole and all his other grandchildren still amazes me.

And the fact that I realized that every one of my sins, past present and future, were forgiven at Jesus death on that cross, has given me so much relief from guilt and shame that I wasn’t good enough or strong enough to be Loved. When you realize that, that’s when you can love others unconditional, despite who or where they are on their journey.

The church in general has to become a hospital to the broken. We have to give love and find mercy to give those such as Amanda a safe place to grow. We have to extend grace and love, not rules and regulations, to help them. I personally don’t know what that looks like, but If we see someone broken and hurting, all we have to do is point them to help, it’s their responsibility to get it. We have to show mercy and love. And realize that God’s grace means I’m forgiven and loved even though I did nothing to earn it and sure don’t deserve it. That’s what is so amazing about Grace….given and not earned.

I want to leave you with a quote I read last night as I fell exhausted into bed that nailed my heart’s voice:

“Only where there is mercy is there growth – and hope for change. Mercy is what begs us to be mercifully safe places for the suffering and victimized and abused and all the broken in our families, our communities, our churches, in our aching, breaking world, — so every soul can enlarge and grow strong.  The mercy of God is like a womb for the children trafficked, the vulnerable and abused, the suffering who cry soundlessly behind masks. Lay your ear up against any suffering and that’s the beat you can always hear – – the heartbeat of our God, Emmanuel: God always with you”

Thank you for coming tonight and honoring Amanda’s memory and life.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMANDA

1-Amanda

Tomorrow is the second birthday we will miss celebrating with Amanda. She should be here celebrating her 34th birthday with family and friends. I miss looking for that perfect gift. I miss buying her favorite cake. I miss trying to surprise her. I just miss her infectious smile and gracious attitude. Ever since she was a baby, I have made it a point to make her birthday special in some way. I am so incredibly sad to not have her here, and I never want her forgotten.

I have no idea of how her story will end, I am trusting God with that.  I may never know the impact her life and death may have made on others. She is loved and missed by so many, and her story of injustice has reached thousands. She loved her family unconditional and the best she knew how. Looking back over years of pictures, it’s a beautiful reminder of the beautiful times with this beautiful woman. She always had a smile that lit up a room.

What is hard now is the inability to grieve her death. I have been in limbo between saying good bye and pursuing justice. Two years ago, I took her a cake and some presents for her 32nd birthday. I remember that day so vividly, as we stood outside of her house and ate cake, and I cried over the bruises on her face and arms. I wanted to save her so bad from the hell she was living in, but was not able to. The terror and abuse she suffered at the hands of pure evil was beyond my control, and now I know, hers as well.  Since taking her last breath on May 21, 2015, I’ve spent countless hours trying to make sense of her death. I made her a promise that day to never give up on finding answers to legitimate questions. Her life matters to me, her children, family, and friends—and it should matter to law enforcement.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BEAUTIFUL. YOU ARE LOVED AND MISSED. YOU ARE NEVER FORGOTTEN. YOUR LIFE MATTERS!

 

Undisputed Facts

Facts of Amanda’s Case

  1. Amanda’s life was threatened with death the day she suffered anoxic brain death per 2 witnesses. She was told according to witnesses that she had to be out of the house by 7:00 pm.
  2. There was a documented history of choking by Brayan as a form of abuse and control.
  3. Amanda used next door neighbor’s phone at 5:15 to call her friend Amber to be picked up. She was supposed to call her friend back that night for pick up time.
  4. Amanda had at least 3 bags packed with clothing and personal items. One bag was downstairs by the front door.
  5. There was NO suicide note.
  6. The “Fist-print” bruise on chest was from an assault on May 10, 2015.
  7. Amanda’s blood alcohol was tested in the ER, at least an hour after she was found, and it’s reported at 382 (0.382).
  8. Amanda’s liver and kidneys was healthy enough for organ donation.
  9. Amanda had no physical brain changes per autopsy associated with chronic alcoholism.
  10. Brayan Espana had two outstanding warrants: one for domestic violence charge on 8/28/2014 and one for failure to appear & bail jumping.
  11. Brayan has a 10 year long police record in Grayson County alone. Charges from traffic violations, driving intoxicated, escape from custody and family violence.
  12. Brayan clocked out of work at STARR Aircraft at 5:09 on 05/14/2015.
  13. Brayan and housemate both reported Brayan getting home around 6:00 pm to responding officers. That gave him over an hour in the apartment with her.
  14. Brayan claims when he found Amanda, she was sitting on her knees, not suspended, leaning into an electrical cord.
  15. There were no knots tied around Amanda’s neck, only the two ends loosely tied at two different points on a clothes rod.
  16. Brayan claims he “broke” an electrical cord with his hands. States he couldn’t find anything to cut it with, yet the box cutter was in the room. It appears the cord had been cut, not ripped.
  17. Brayan was only interviewed once, which was at the scene by Detective Jones and it was an audio recording. Other witnesses at scene were video-taped statements and were interviewed also at a later date by Detective Jones. He was questioned by two other officers that night.
  18. Brayan’s audio statement states that on 5/14, he left work, stopped at the gas station, and then drove straight home. That’s not reflected accurately in Detective Jones report, as he adds an additional stop to Brayan’s statement.
  19. Brayan left the house they lived in on 5/17/2015 per next door neighbor, and left behind the following: baskets of clean and dirty clothes, shoes, toiletries, various false immigration documents, computer, phone SD cards, photo albums, family photos and letters from Guatemala, Bible, television, gaming system, and furniture. He never returned to that residence.
  20. Brayan disconnected his phone on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 even though the bill had been paid on 5/14/2015.
  21. Brayan never reported back to work after May 15, 2015 to STARR Aircraft.
  22. Responding officer was acquaintance and knew about the warrant and past history between Brayan and Amanda. He asked for detective to look into case. Detective denied knowing about outstanding warrant and history, stating Sherman PD records do not cross over to Grayson County Records.
  23. Detective Jones refused to come back to the hospital to see Amanda after she was admitted to ICU until she was removed from life support 6 days later to follow up on our concerns. We had to meet with him at Sherman PD.
  24. Justice of the Peace told me and the attending ICU physician that there would be no autopsy because of her “past history”. We had to fight for an autopsy to be done. The law protects Amanda and it was her right to have the autopsy based on the circumstances of her death.
  25. There were no photos or videos of Brayan taken when he gave his statement; Detective Jones reassured us Brayan was photographed to show there were no wounds inflicted by Amanda. They don’t exist in the file CD’s obtained by Sherman PD.
  26. Detective alleges overnight bag downstairs by front door was her “lunch bag”. States he spoke with HR director and confirmed – not true. The audio interview with HR director does not reflect that question and answer. She also denies him asking her about a bag she brought to work every day. It contained personal items-hair products, make up, Bible, lotion, kids pictures, blow dryer, and wallet. Debit card was missing.
  27. Autopsy performed 5/21/2015 at 10:00 am. We spoke to Dr. Urban on 5/22/2015 at 12:00 pm to discuss her ruling of suicide. She stated she was not aware of domestic violence history, threats made by Brayan, no crime scene photos, no initial photos of Amanda taken by police 7 days prior, no ligature, no report related to how she was found from Sherman Police Department, blood work (blood alcohol level), EMS report, hospital records; only white female possible suicide by hanging. We sent all the photos we took 2 days after she was in ICU and photos the day she was taken off life support. She reported she received them on 5/23/2015 at 6:43 am. In Detective Jones report, he states he spoke to Dr. Urban at 1445 on 5/21/2015 (almost 5 hours after autopsy), yet we spoke to her on 5/22/2015 and she denies knowing anything.
  28. There were multiple marks, with varying degrees of intensity and levels, as well as deep muscle contusions and abrasions at the lower level of her neck, completely encircling the base. Marks going downward, upward, and straight across. This is not consistent with what Brayan and the police say happened. The trauma noted to her neck was done with so much force, how could it have been done by “leaning” into a ligature?
  29. In the initial copy of the open file I received inadvertently (case not closed yet) in September of 2015, Detective Jones report with the printed date of 09/15/2015, has the final sentence on his report as, “This case will now be exceptionally cleared as a suicide”. I requested another copy of the records on March 29, 2016, and a certified letter was sent to the State Attorney General on April 8, 2016 in regards to me requesting an open file, and that it should not be released to me because of “pending criminal investigation. The premature release of the information could interfere with criminal prosecution of that case.” I was then sent a letter from the State Attorney General denying me access to Amanda’s file. It was not officially closed until May 2016. Why did it take 1 year?
  30. We met with someone from the District Attorney’s office and the Sheriff’s office, as well as the Assistant Chief of Police, which none agreed that this case needed further attention based on the fact they were unwilling to help us. It is apparent they stand behind the investigation done by Detective Jeff Jones and the autopsy performed by Dr. Jill Urban.
  31. I am currently waiting for a return phone call from the new Chief of Police at the Sherman Police Department to schedule a meeting to discuss her case that I requested on 1/5/2017.

AGAIN, WHY CAN’T THIS BE CONSIDERED A POSSIBLE HOMICIDE?

Renewed Hope for Justice

December 15, 2016

This is a follow up from my last post in October. We met with the newly elected sheriff and his deputy with our concerns about how Amanda’s case was handled by Sherman Police Department, and they assured us they would look over her case with an open mind and fresh eyes. I spent several hours copying pictures, notes, reports, blogs, and records. I left my file with their office for over 2 months to be reviewed, and we finally had our follow up with the chief deputy last week. The emotions were almost overwhelming in anticipation of this meeting, but regardless of the outcome, I knew that if this was not the time or place, God was still in control. Needless to say, this was not the time or place, but a necessary step in this journey for justice.

When we arrived in the conference room in the sheriff’s office, the chief deputy had a pad with written notes. I did not sense this meeting would be in our favor from the beginning, and as it turned out, it was not. He started by explaining that there has to be enough evidence to prosecute a case, and even if Brayan walked into his door, confessed to killing Amanda, and turned himself in, there still would be problems with prosecuting him because the evidence doesn’t support murder. Whether that’s true or not, I’m not sure.

Following are some points he made to Justin and me about why it would be impossible to get a conviction:

  1. The issues that I had raised about Amanda’s blood alcohol level and being conscious or even able to hang herself at 384. He said because of her history of alcoholism, that level may not affect her like it does a normal person. He said he had arrested someone with a higher BAC that was driving a vehicle and able to function. He said that point would not hold up in court. My questions then become, she was 120 pounds, could that level at least affect fine motor skills? Just because she was drunk, does that make it automatically plausible she committed suicide? What’s normal alcohol level for her? There’s no baseline. I’ve seen her put back a 6 pack of beer not too long ago and she couldn’t even hold a cigarette.
  2. Brayan had a history of choking her “with his hands”, why would he all of a sudden use a cord? Really? No one can vouch for every choking incident she suffered through. He kept her isolated from everyone. How can it be determined that an abusive psychopath will only choke a certain way? He said he would kill her, maybe the hand choking method wasn’t successful in the past (assuming that’s the only way he choked her) why not do it with something more forceful to make sure he carried through with his promise?
  3. If Brayan intended on killing Amanda, why would he attempt CPR for 15-20 minutes before calling 911? Why would he try to save her life if he intended on taking it? His efforts kept her alive to make it to the hospital. Well she was brain dead and her heart had stopped beating, she was only alive because we had her placed on a ventilator.  Question here is, did he really do CPR? The witness (who told me he helped take her down but told the police he didn’t)and Brayan had different accounts of what happened in the moments around this event. Why didn’t he call 911 first instead of letting her lie there not breathing? Everything that happened in those moments is what Brayan said happened. It takes 5 minutes for anoxic brain death, times just don’t add up. I’m sure with some research, I could come up with men or women who try or even kill their partner’s and try and stage it as accident or suicide.

I began asking about the marks and bruises on her neck and how it didn’t add up to what Brayan and the police said happened, he said the autopsy supports Brayan and Sherman PD’s ruling. I reminded him that the autopsy wasn’t fair because Dr. Urban didn’t have any evidence, reports, etc. with Amanda; he came to her defense and stated that he knows Dr. Urban and she does a great job. I asked about the threat of murder, Amanda being packed to leave, inconsistent timelines, lies in the detective’s report, Brayan leaving town….he said “I don’t have answers for your questions”….. There was nothing I could say to convince him, and there was nothing he could say to convince me. After reviewing my entire file, there was nothing outside the autopsy that led him to believe that Brayan could have taken her life.

I left there brokenhearted, but not hopeless. I called him after leaving the meeting and asked him what would he do different if this was his wife, daughter or sister….he just said the evidence doesn’t support homicide, it’s been ruled a suicide. He reminded me that I’ve leaned on the Lord so much during this and to keep trusting Him. I can now say that I have gone through all the channels in Grayson County. No one has been willing to help me. I clearly see that everyone to this point have supported Brayan and the Sherman PD, including the district attorney’s office and the sheriff’s department.

God doesn’t plan to leave it here. After leaving the meeting at the sheriff’s office, I knew everyone was hiding behind the autopsy and we had to get that issue addressed. One week later, an article about misconduct in the Dallas Medical Examiner’s office comes across my newsfeed on Facebook. I contacted the reporter immediately about my story, and she has agreed to look over Amanda’s file. This reporter went on a talk show and talked about Amanda’s case. Her passion for justice and interest in Amanda’s case gives me renewed hope. She has seen the pictures of Amanda and the crime scene and she is even more convinced of a grievous mishandling of her case by Sherman PD and DME.

Another God thing is an awesome advocacy group, Riding4Justice. They are leaving this Saturday to ride to Austin to bring awareness to the injustices happening in Grayson and surrounding counties. This group has believed in me from the beginning and kept me going in times I didn’t think I could go on. Amanda is one of the cases they are taking to the state capitol. I am so grateful for what they are doing to stand in the gap and help family’s struggling to find answers! And by the way, I just found out this group has worked with the reporter I contacted earlier this week on other cases…there are no coincidences!

Thank you for reading, liking and sharing Amanda’s story of injustice.

 

What Needs to Change?

September 19, 2016

All afternoon, I have been preparing a notebook for Amanda’s case. I am presenting it tomorrow at a meeting with an official who has agreed to look it over. No matter the outcome, I will trust God. I’m realizing how emotionally removed I have become from all the detailed police reports, witness statements and photos of Amanda. It has had to be this way because it’s difficult to see this beautiful woman, my baby sister with bruises and marks on her neck and body. I will be so relieved the day we get answers and she gets the justice she deserves.

This disconnection has helped me move forward with a factual based research of her case rather than emotionally driven. Tonight, I am so sad and grieved for everything she had to endure at the hands of a man that controlled every part of her world. I’m thinking about the other women (& men) all over the world that suffer at the hands of people that are supposed to love them. How can we have a different outcome? How can we make these tragic stories end differently? It has to be one of three ways: stop the abuse, leave the abuser, or the likelihood that someone will die. Those are the only solutions to this senseless, preventable crime.

Stopping the abuse has to start early. Abusers were most likely abused themselves. There must be early intervention, education, and programs to help the abuser figure out what’s going on inside them. We have this deep need to control our world, but we do not have any right to control the actions of others, whether physical, psychological, and/or emotional. We have to break the generational cycles of abuse. We have to be the generation that says ENOUGH! The abuser needs to be loved on as much as the abused if safe to do so. The flip side though is that they have to want healing, acknowledge the problem, and take responsibility for their actions.

Leaving the abuser is a complicated matter. Leaving an abusive relationship is one of the most dangerous times. Often women stay because there is so much fear of leaving safely. People often get frustrated at women for staying with an abuser. I know I got frustrated with Amanda many times. As a child, I got frustrated with my mom for staying with my dad. Blaming the woman for staying is NOT acceptable. They get caught up in the domestic violence cycle – abuse, remorse and apologies, calm, & abuse. If we can’t get the abuser to stop, how can we help the abused feel safe in another environment?

If abuse continues, there is a pretty good chance that someone will die. I’ve lost three women in my life to domestic violence homicides (I’m praying that the truth be revealed in Amanda’s case). In the loss of my sister Vivian, she was leaving her boyfriend, and he killed her. My mother went to check on her hours after it happened because Vivian wasn’t answering the phone, and he killed my mom as well. When I asked Damon why he did it, he said he didn’t want to lose her. Amanda was threatened to be killed numerous times if she left Brayan; but the night she suffered brain death, he told her to be gone by a certain time and if she wasn’t he would kill her.

I have poured my heart and many hours into Amanda’s case. She didn’t deserve what happened to her. If he is never held accountable here, God has the final say for him. There were times when police were involved with Brayan and Amanda, and he just walked away, and not held responsible by our justice system for his violent actions, not to mention his illegal immigration status. I’ve taken hold of her, and am not letting go until we get answers. Until then, I pray that God use me to help others have a different outcome than Rebecca, Vivian, and Amanda Pierce. There are so many people supporting and praying for our family. I am so grateful. Remember that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month!

Amanda’s Advocate

September 8, 2016

Someone recently asked me a few questions about Amanda’s case. What if nothing gets changed? What if the police and medical examiner get the final word on the outcome? What do you want to happen in telling your story? Honestly, I don’t know. When I started writing her story back in May of this year, I wanted someone in the “law” world to say there were enough circumstances and unanswered questions to warrant another look at her case as something other than suicide. I also did not want her death certificate to read “suicide by hanging” if in fact someone took her life. I did not want that to be her legacy.

Recently, I have removed all expectations, I don’t have an outcome in mind. I have given up control of where this story ends. All I can do right now is tell her story by pouring out my heartfelt words on this Facebook page and blog site. God is in complete control of the outcome, and justice is in his hands. By releasing my control, I have had so much more freedom and peace to speak from my heart and gut.

From the moments I found out that Amanda’s life had been threatened with murder, heard the ridiculous story Brayan told about the evening of May 14, and learned of the police department’s position on her death, I have tried to be her voice. I will continue to be her advocate until we are heard and her death gets a fair, proper investigation. I will continue to gather information, research, and write until someone listens. If we would have accepted the detectives initial report findings, her case would have died on that table during our meeting on May 18, 2015. I’m not going to let what has been ruled as a suicide slide by until we get the answers we deserve about the events surrounding her brain injury and death.

The detective was called in on Amanda’s case because we had recently talked to the officer, who responded to the 9-1-1 call, in social settings about her situation and asked him for help on getting Brayan picked up on his outstanding warrant. Our involvement to help her started way before May 14. It is noted numerous times in the detective’s report of our concerns for Amanda. We were told that we just could not accept that my sister committed suicide more than once.

In his report, he has noted the following statements about our concerns and persistence  of wanting answers on Amanda’s behalf:

  • “On 5/16/15, I started receiving emails that Kim and Justin Mullins wanted to talk to me and believed that Amanda’s suicide was a homicide.”
  • “On 5/17/15, I came to the Sherman Police Department and made some follow-up calls. I spoke with Kim Mullins and she advised that she believed that Espana may have killed Amanda….”
  • I gave him names and phone numbers of witnesses that claimed to know that Brayan threatened to kill Amanda on 5/14 if she was not out of the house by 7:00 pm. Each person gave a statement to the detective.
  • “On 5/19/15, I met with Kim and Justin Mullens at the Sherman Police Department. They advised they had additional information as to what occurred at 1200 E. Lamar.”
  • On 5/28/16, we met with the detective again. “…at 0900 hours, I met with Justin and Kim again at their request. They advised that they are not accepting the ruling as a suicide and wanted me to change the investigation to a homicide.” Actually we asked why with all the circumstances around the event that this could not be even be considered a homicide?
  • “They advised that based on that they did not feel that I had conducted a proper investigation and would be pursuing other avenues to assure the case was investigated properly.”
  • “Kim advised that she was unable to accept my investigation and believes Brayan killed Amanda and covered it up…..”
  • “I later received emails from Kim and Justin challenging what I had told them and questioning pieces of evidence that they were made aware of in the meeting.”

 

There were a few times he exaggerated my pleas of looking at it more than a suicide. In my heart I feel like Brayan did this to her, but never asked for the ruling to be changed to homicide, only to be investigated as a possible homicide. We don’t feel her case was treated fairly, and there is no one else that cares for her as much as Justin and me; therefore, it is our responsibility to be her voice and her advocate.

I am hearing of similar cases being handled this way. So if my story just helps one other person become brave enough to step out and get justice, then I will be satisfied. If something doesn’t make sense or there are legitimate questions, don’t be afraid to ask! God knows the end of my story, and he has placed a deep desire in my heart to share it through writing.

“This is God’s Message: Attend to matters of justice. Set things right between people. Rescue victims from their exploiters. Don’t take advantage of the homeless, the orphans, the widows. Stop the murdering!”  Jeremiah 22:3

Thank you for reading and sharing The Pain of Injustice.

‘Illegal’ Criminal

September 5, 2016

One fact that we were sure the police department would find suspicious is that Brayan left town. Got in his car on May 17, 2015 and drove away. A witness said he carried a small brown envelope under his arm, got in his car, and drove off; that was the last time he was seen. When we asked the detective if that seemed suspicious, he never really thought it was a big deal. When we asked the assistant chief of police the same question, the answer we got was this is typical behavior for illegal immigrants. They want to skip town if there is anything that brings attention to them to stay out of trouble.

Brayan Espana has a criminal record that goes back to 2006; that is 10 years. He has had multiple citations and arrest. In Grayson County alone, under this alias, he has been arrested 6 times.

  1. 2009 assault causing bodily injury/family violence, no license no liability insurance, spent 3 days in jail
  2. 2010 driving while intoxicated, driving with no driver’s license, spent 1 day in jail
  3. 2011 driving while intoxicated, open container, escaped from custody, in jail from 1/29-2/25
  4. 2011 assault family violence, spent 1 day in jail
  5. 2011 display fictitious license plate, no driver’s license, violate promise to appear, spent 1 day in jail
  6. 2014 assault causing bodily injury family violence, no liability insurance, spent 1 day in jail (this is the assault to Amanda witnessed by a Sherman police officer, and that his active warrants are for)

There are other traffic violations, such as no driver’s license or liability insurance in 2006, and bail jumping and failure to appear from 2014.

He apparently hasn’t been too worried about attention being drawn to himself over the past 10 years. What makes this different? He had been pulled over numerous times and never had a driver’s license or insurance, he has been in front of a judge with no legal paperwork, he has sat in the Grayson county jail numerous times, he drinks and drive’s on our local streets with no worries about harming other’s lives, and he has escaped custody and jumped bail and failed to appear…. I don’t think he has been too worried about getting into trouble. How is this time different? What was he so worried about to just drive away and left everything he owned in that ratty house they lived in? After all this time in Grayson County, working at gas stations and STARR aircraft, living here, beating on women, why leave now? I think I know why, but police say otherwise; it’s just not suspicious behavior according to them.

Thank you for reading, liking, commenting and sharing Amanda’s story of injustice.

Police Department’s Conclusion–Part 2

September 4, 2016

Part 2 of the Sherman PD official conclusion of Amanda’s Case: Assistant chief of police official conclusion to close the case on 5/18/2016, over 1 year later. Continued from previous post:

Possibility of other causes:

The bruise on the right side of her chest was observed by (witness) prior to the incident

Pierce reportedly claimed the bruise was caused during an altercation with Espana several days prior to 5/14/15

Pierce’s initial condition (unconscious but alive) as reported by SPD Paramedics tends to support Espana’s account of the events

Dr. Cardenas examined Pierce upon her arrival at Wilson N. Jones hospital and confirmed her condition was consistent with the evidence and circumstances found at the scene.

According to SPD Paramedics and Dr. Cardenas, Pierce’s body showed no other signs of trauma at the time of the incident.

No other person was believed to be in the home at the time of the incident.

 None of the items listed are even ‘possibilities of other causes’. Espana told the ICU staff that the bruise was from CPR he performed on her. Her initial condition was unconscious and asystole, that IS NOT alive, that’s not just ‘unconscious’. That means NO heartbeat. He stated he did 10-15 minutes of CPR before calling 9-1-1, why do that much CPR if someone is alive? I intend to speak with Dr. Cardenas about his professional opinion and forensic knowledge, to say the picture of an iron cord matches the trauma to her neck, if he even said that at all. There was someone else in the home, it was the housemate who gave inconsistent statements to the police and me. His story is all over the place and doesn’t make sense either.

Espana as a suspect:

Time lines established during the investigation confirm Espana’s reported whereabouts prior to and at the time of Pierce’s hanging.

Espana immediately took steps to resuscitate Pierce and quickly contacted Paramedics.

Witness statements from (housemate) and (witness) tend to corroborate Espana’s account of the incident.

There is insufficient evidence to charge Espana with any criminal offense related to this incident.

There is virtually no physical evidence that indicates Espana contributed to Pierce’s death.

 Where do I start…timelines during investigation confirm his reported whereabouts. Which one? The one where he clocked out of work at 1709, verbally told the detective that he got off work, stopped by the gas station and tried to use debit card for cash but declined, got on 75 South, then Lamar Street, got home and walked in the back door and talked to the neighbor for 5-7 minutes? That timeline or the one the detective WROTE about him not getting home until 1900 (15 minutes before he called 911) after he hung out with friends after work? Which one does he get to use? There are many more discrepancies in the timeline. Immediately took steps…after going downstairs and getting a witness, then attempting CPR for 10-15 minutes before call 911? I am confident that one of the witnesses did not corroborate his story and the other one told different stories to different detectives. Your position on the case is noted—no sufficient evidence that he contributed to her death.

Confusion in the case:

Due to a history of abuse, Espana was suspected of possibly causing or contributing to Pierce’s death.

In the days following the incident, theories were voiced by uninvolved and/or misinformed individuals which may have caused confusion and concerns for the Pierce’s family.

Alternative conclusions raised during the investigation of this case are unsubstantiated and fail to implicate anyone of a crime.

The definition of abuse is to treat with cruelty or violence, especially regularly or repeatedly. He was suspected by the family because he threatened to murder her that day if she was not out of the house by 7:00 pm, not solely on the abuse; also that he had an active warrant for domestic violence and multiple witnesses to that ‘abuse’. I cannot wait for comments by “uninvolved and/or misinformed individuals”! Who exactly are you referring to? The witness, her friend, who she called for help out of desperation? Or her ex-husband she spoke to that day who confirmed what Amber said, that she was scared for her life and needed to get out of the house. The one that was giving her a place to go after her life was threatened with murder? Our confusion comes from the police’s disregard to that information days after she suffered brain death. That they jumped on the suicide wagon and put blinders on to any other possibility. This whole ‘confusion in the case’ section infuriates me!

Conclusion:

All verifiable evidence in this case indicates that Pierce’s death was a suicide by hanging. My review file, containing photos, copies of recordings, and documentation were submitted as evidence with this case.”

That is the lead detective’s supervisor’s official report on Amanda’s case. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the turning point we were hoping for, but definitely gave us an idea where the Sherman Police Department stood on her case.

Thank you for reading, liking, commenting and sharing Amanda’s story of injustice!

Police Department’s Conclusion — Part 1

September 4, 2016

The final person we met with from the Sherman Police Department was an assistant chief of police. This was a meeting that we were hoping would change the direction of the investigation, or actually start an investigation. We had met and poured our hearts out to so many people since May, and felt we had enough circumstances, legitimate questions, and discrepancies in the detective’s report to warrant a fair investigation into Amanda’s death.

We told him our concerns with the detective’s investigation. One being that Brayan got in his car 2 days after it happened, leaving everything he owned, and drove away; illegal immigration documents, family photos and letters from his home country, clothes, computer, etc. He said that was ‘typical behavior’ of illegal immigrants because they don’t want any attention brought to themselves. He obviously wasn’t scared in the past after being arrested and cited multiple times in Grayson County. I carried a 5 foot long piece of extension cord similar to what was allegedly used and asked him to demonstrate how, based on his professional opinion, that her injuries could have been caused with no knot and at that length; and also to show me how Brayan could have broken the cord with his bare hands.

We discussed other issues and he assured us he would look into the case “thoroughly” and get back to us. That was last September, still haven’t had a follow-up meeting or even a courtesy reply to my multiple emails. Following are notes from his report I received in May 2016. That is when I found out his official position on Amanda’s case.

He notes that he spoke to the medical examiner on 9/30/15. “Dr. Urban again confirmed the findings described in the autopsy and added she was, ‘more sure since reading the report.’” He continues in his report to say, “In comparing the autopsy photos with photos taken and later provided by Kimberly Mullens, Pierce clearly had ligature marks (deep grooves) around her neck. The clearly defined marks coincided with the skin folds in her neck and remain consistent to the back of her neck (consistent with hanging).” Problems with this:

  • Dr. Urban said ‘more sure since reading the report’—what report? When did she read it? I thought the detective spoke to her extensively prior to autopsy?
  • He states “receipt of autopsy photos was initially delayed, therefore a second request was sent”. He did not receive autopsy photos until February 1, 2016.
  • Yes there were ligature marks in the autopsy photos and my photos. THEY WERE NOT DEEP GROOVES! A deep groove is indication of hanging…. There were NOT deep grooves, there was deep tissue bruising of the front strap muscles on both sides on the LOWER part of her neck, and on one side of the back lower neck. There were abrasions and multiple levels of marks going horizontally. There were two marks going vertical, but the way the cord was tied to the rod, there is NO way enough contact was made to make those abrasion marks. Nice try, this was the only place “deep grooves” was mentioned!

 

Next page of his report…

”Based upon my review of the case, my findings are as follows:

Prior History:

Pierce suffered from mental health issues and substance abuse for a number of years.

Pierce was involved in a troubled and abusive relationship.

Piece was reportedly trying to leave the relationship, but felt she had nowhere else to go.

Pierce expressed some level of desperation in that she believed she had to be out of the house that evening

Problems with ‘Prior History’ section: First thing he states she suffered from mental health issues; she was involved in a troubled and abusive relationship and was ‘reportedly’ trying to leave the relationship, but felt she had nowhere to go—SHE HAD SOMEWHERE TO GO! She needed one more night so she could get her paycheck the next day and that’s where the conversation was left at with her friend Amber at 5:20 pm that day. Amber was expecting a return phone call that night letting her know if she could stay that night or had to leave. That plan was in motion 4-5 hours before. There is a witness to that conversation and the detective was aware of it. And, her expressing some level of desperation that she had to be out of the house….so she was so desperate that she walked across the street at 5:20pm after making arrangements with her friend to move out, to wait for Brayan to arrive home to ask permission to sleep one more night in the house she paid rent on, and decided, screw it, I’ll just take my life…MAKES NO SENSE! Again, she was scared for her life—no phone, no car, no money because he stole it the day before, no place to live….she was not hopeless!

Evidence at the scene:

Evidence at the scene indicated Pierce may have been intoxicated at the time of the incident.

Pierce’s injuries were consistent with being hung by a thin ligature around her neck.

The iron cord collected at the scene is consistent with Pierce’s injuries.

The photos depict injuries consistent with her reported body position.

There were no other visible injuries or signs of a struggle.

 Evidence shows that blood alcohol level was 384. That’s .384! 0.40 is usually death level. With a 0.384 level is most likely she was severely impaired, poor or if any fine and gross motor skill, or unconscious. Her injuries were consistent with thin ligature—does that cause ‘deep grooves’ as he claimed earlier in his report? An iron cord in my opinion is not ‘thin’. The reported body position was by the man we suspect may have done this to her. No other visible injuries—if someone squeezes the breath out of you and your blood alcohol level is 384, don’t think there would be much of a struggle.

I will continue Part 2 of the department’s conclusion on the next post.

Thank you for reading, liking, commenting, and sharing Amanda’s story of injustice!

 

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