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The Pain of Injustice

Amanda's Story

‘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.

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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!

 

Forensic Science — Part 2

September 1, 2016

After Amanda was pronounced dead on May 20, 2015 and her organs were harvested for donation, her body was sent to The Southwestern Institute for Forensic Science in Dallas, Texas for autopsy. This is what we pleaded for, in hopes to get confirmation of what we suspected; at the same time wondering if we were wrong.

I have told the story before, but will recap. After her death she was sent for an autopsy. In the detective’s report, he stated “At about 2145 hours, I received a call from the intake clerk at SWIFS who gathered information for the doctor to conduct the autopsy on 5/21/15.” We got notice on Friday, May 22 from the funeral home that Amanda had arrived back in Sherman, and that we needed to make some final arrangements. They told us the initial cause of death was suicide. We had to get permission from JP to talk to medical examiner’s office because we had questions to how she determined it a hanging death versus strangulation.

The doctor informed us it was based on 1) no defense wounds to the neck, like fingernail marks trying to fight against a ligature from strangulation; 2) the hyoid bone was not broken. We questioned her about the circumstances around the case and about possibility of boyfriend strangling her then staging it to appear to be suicide, and about the ligature used matching marks. She informed us that Amanda came to the facility as female possible suicide by hanging. There was no other evidence sent with her, such as ligature, photos, blood work, circumstances, witness statements, family concerns, etc. Our questions then became how can a complete and accurate autopsy be performed when the only information provided was suicide by hanging? Wouldn’t that limit your focus to one cause of death? What is the possibility she would call the detective and say ‘hey this is suspicious of homicide’? Is that how forensic pathology works? I don’t know but am open to input.

In a book by Dr. Dinesh Rao, a forensic pathologist, he explains that death due to strangulation has some general features. “Evidence of violent compression or constriction of the neck during life is obtained from the presence of bruising or ecchymosis about the neck, haemorrhages in the strap muscles, under the skin…..” All of that was present. In my opinion, it seems impossible for her to have all the trauma present by her sitting on her knees, leaning forward into a cord (not tied) for less than 10-15 minutes (per Brayan). He told me he saw her sitting in the window when he drove up to the house. So with a blood alcohol of 384, she managed to do everything he said happened. I’M NOT BUYING IT!

In a follow up meeting with the detective, he said he didn’t know why the medical examiner said she didn’t know anything about the case. He stated he spoke extensively about it to her. Their stories do not match up about what he said he reported to her personally and what she told us on May 22. In his report, he stated “On 5/21/15, SWIFS assigned case # for Amanda…..At 1445 hours, I spoke with medical examiner Dr. Jill Urban. I discussed in detail the investigation and she advised that based on the information provided and her autopsy that her official ruling was ‘a suicide’.” That’s odd, because we spoke to the same doctor on 5/22/15, the day after the autopsy, and she said she didn’t know anything about the case. I sent her all my photos I took along with police records and explained what witnesses came forward and told us while she was in ICU. Also, the autopsy was performed at 10:00 am on 5/21, and he spoke to her according to his report, at 1445…that’s almost 5 hours AFTER the autopsy.

There are so many things that don’t make sense about this autopsy. It went back and forth between us, Sherman police department and medical examiner’s office for 4 months. Our meeting with the assistant chief of police in September ended with him promising to thoroughly look into the case. He told us he would personally call the medical examiner’s office, and asked me to send him all the pictures I had taken of Amanda immediately after with all her injuries and the day she passed away with the healing that had taken place. Tomorrow’s post will be details from his report and what his findings were concerning Amanda’s case. Let’s just say, he backs the detective 100%.

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

Forensic Science — Part 1

August 28, 2016

No one can imagine how much research I have done on the topic of forensic science and autopsies. I do not claim to be an expert, but have discovered it is not an exact science and mistakes can be made. Justin and I begged and demanded that an autopsy be performed on Amanda after we discontinued life support. It is amazing at what we were put through to get this done. There was so much confusion during her week in the ICU with trying to preserve any evidence and at the same time wanting to help others through organ donation. We could not get the detective to come see us after we learned of the murderous threats on the day she suffered anoxic brain injury. We were forced to take the situation in our own hands and become Amanda’s voice and advocate, and praying an autopsy would answer so many questions.

I vividly remember that Saturday after it happened, and realizing that maybe she didn’t do this to herself. The ICU staff had taken Amanda’s neck collar off after any cervical neck fractures were ruled out, which is common in hanging victims. The moment I saw her neck, I was baffled at the trauma I saw, compared to what the detective and Brayan had told us 2 days before that she was sitting on her knees. At this time I was not aware of specific details as I am now, but the patterns did not match with what I logically thought of typical hanging victims. It would make sense that most of the trauma would be higher above the larynx, just below the jaw line. That’s not what I observed. Some notes that I wrote while sitting at her bedside Saturday were:

  • “ligature marks, multiple marks-varying in intensity and cross each other – not consistent with hanging marks”
  • “Mark completely encircles the neck, front marks, deep bruises in front lower muscles, do not encircle the neck”
  • “Sloping marks – very faint, either pulled up from behind or post mortem to appear hanging”
  • “Abrasions – scabbing across the encircling mark, maybe some struggle”

On that Saturday, we did not know how long Amanda’s heart would beat. I began emailing the detective because Sherman PD dispatch said he didn’t work on weekends and would be back in on Monday morning. The house supervisor even called the Sherman PD on our behalf. Someone suggested we contact the justice of the peace because they were ultimately responsible for ordering autopsy after deaths. We had left messages for him to call us concerning Amanda’s case. He returned our call and I explained what we knew so far, and he advised “that based on her past history, there would not be an autopsy ordered”. I then asked what history, and he said something about her past mental health issues and previous attempted suicide – (alleged attempt). I could not believe what I was hearing on the other end of the phone. At this point, the attending ICU physician took over the phone call and I could hear him telling the justice of the peace about their concerns as well about foul play. He proceeded to tell him that the family was suspicious and could not reach the detective, and there should be an autopsy, but at that point nothing was done. Hospital procedure at this point is that if law enforcement does not ask for an autopsy, it would have to be at the family’s expense if done, which would exceed $6,000.

In the detective’s report from 5/16/2015 he noted that he had indeed talked to the justice of the peace that day and acknowledged receiving our emails, but had not bothered to call us back. His note from that day:

“On 5/16/15, I started receiving emails that Kim and Justin wanted to talk to me and believed that Amanda’s suicide was a homicide. I also received a call from Justice of the Peace Atherton inquiring about the case because he was asked by the family to order an autopsy. I told him what I had learned thus far. He advised that he was not ordering an autopsy at this time because the family still had Amanda on life support.”

So, he admitted to seeing our emails on Saturday 5/16, but did not call us or come see us; and the justice of the peace did speak to the detective before calling us back on Saturday evening and telling us he was not ordering an autopsy based on past history.

One of Justin’s co-workers personally knew the DA and put a phone call in on our behalf. I can’t remember if we personally talked to him or one of his representatives. I had also contacted the victim’s resource advocate at the DA’s office on Monday the 18th, asking for help. We exhausted every avenue we could think of, and it paid off in getting the autopsy ordered.  In the detective’s report, “Earlier in the (d)ay {5/18/15}, I received phone calls from District Attorney Joe Brown, Assistant District Attorney Kerye Ashmore and Justice of the Peace Larry Atherton. I was advised that they were ordering an autopsy after the family decides when to take Amanda off life support. The body will be taken to Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences for autopsy.” So an autopsy can be ordered before a person is deceased? That was three days of extreme anxiety in waiting for the okay for an autopsy and praying her heart lasted long enough to get the order.

As mentioned in other posts, we met with the detective and another police officer on 5/19/15. Our meeting was fruitless to say the least. At one point we were told “this is not television CSI mam”. What an insult! A statement from his report is worthy to note, “I explained to the Mullen’s that the investigation was still ongoing and asked them not to do anything else to jeopardize the investigation.” I’m just throwing that in for giggles; honestly, me jeopardize the investigation, really? Leaving the meeting it was clear that his investigation hinged on the autopsy. He made it clear that nothing pointed toward homicide at this point and wanted to wait on the autopsy results.

In the following posts, I will go into the issues surrounding the autopsy and it’s results. Thank you for reading, liking, commenting and sharing Amanda’s story of injustice. I will continue to be her voice!

Domestic Violence

August 23, 2016

Domestic violence incidents, reports, and references were made over 44 times in the detective’s 11 page report. Numerous people came forward with story after story of violence and abuse by Brayan, an illegal immigrant that Amanda lived with. She lived in fear and terror no matter if she stayed or left him; there were threats to kill her multiple times if she left him, if she didn’t come back after she left him, or if she didn’t leave him, which is the case on the night she suffered anoxic brain death. He had so much control over her life that she lost any sight of the person she was.

Below are some examples that were reported to the detective days after the incident concerning Brayan threatening to kill Amanda. This does not include the abuse she endured, only threats of murder in months leading up to her death:

“Brinlee told her (me) that Amanda called her to tell her that if she was not out of the house by 1900 that Espana was going to kill her”

“Amanda told Brinlee that Espana put his hands around her neck one too many times. He told her to be out of the house by 7. I’m tired and I can’t take this any longer. If he chokes me again, he will probably kill me.”

“Brinlee says that Amanda called her at 1715 hours saying that she was scared for her life and needed to get out of (t)he house by 7. She said she was scared to death that Brayan would choke and kill her because he had been choking her a lot lately and if he did it again, he would not let go.”

“She (Maranda) said about 6 months ago Amanda called her asking her to come get her because Brayan was abusive.” “She said Amanda told her that Brayan was going to kill her and would not let her out of the house.”

“When Williams told Amanda to call the police, Amanda told her that she did not want to call the police because Brayan would kill her or get someone to.”

“She said after a few weeks, Amanda begged her to take her back to Brayan. Williams told her that she needed to stay with her. Amanda then told her that Brayan called and told her that he would kill her if she did not come back.”

“Amanda told Williams that she was afraid that Brayan would also kill Williams and her family if she stayed with her.” This included my sister Vivian’s children because Maranda was their step mom.

“(co-worker) said that Amanda told her that she felt trapped and could not leave Brayan and that Amanda told her that Brayan told her ‘I’ll kill you and get away with it and I’ll chop you up like your mom and sister were’”.

The detective’s attitude toward the violence is disturbing. He knew all of the above information before Amanda actually passed away. We also have reason to believe he had been made aware of the outstanding warrant for domestic violence. A couple statements from his report reflect his attitude toward the abuse Amanda endured:

“Numerous assaults by Brayan in which only one of them was reported to the police on 05/25/2014. This was only due to an officer driving up as they were arguing in the street”. The officer observed Brayan assaulting her and he was arrested. They advised Amanda to go to the hospital because of her severe injuries but she refused because she was scared of Brayan and the repercussions of law enforcement getting involved. His point of “this is the only one” and because “an officer driving up” makes me so angry.

“I asked him (Dustin) why none of this had been reported to the police and he advised that Amanda did not want the police contacted.” Do you think detective that is because in the first 8 pages of your report she had been threatened with murder over 8 times? That her contacting the police for help could result in her or her family being murdered! Of course he didn’t have an answer to that when we asked him!

Again, why couldn’t this death be considered as something other than suicide? That is the only question I want answered. I don’t understand the detective’s reasoning that “there are no indications of homicide”. What does it take for homicide to be a possibility? That is the question I asked the detective, a Sherman police officer, medical examiner’s office, DA’s office, and the assistant chief of police. Also, what was the purpose of the press conference called in May of this year concerning Domestic Violence and Homicide by Sherman PD and the District Attorney’s office? Didn’t it address situations such as Amanda’s? Statements were made that everything would be done to deal with domestic violence. Just wondering where’s Amanda’s justice?

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

Unfair Assumption

August 18, 2016

It is unreasonable and unfair to assume that just because a person has an addiction to alcohol and history of depression, that they must have taken her own life. The tone of the detective’s report was apparent from when he walked into the room she lived, and also interviewed Brayan about Amanda and her past. A profile was painted of a person that suffered with mental health issues and addiction, by what he observed walking in the room she called home, and by a man that terrorized and traumatized her daily—‘so she had to have done this’ is what I honestly feel he assumed. Nothing in his report suggest otherwise. A few statements from just the first two paragraphs in his report are:

  • “The room was dirty and cluttered. I saw no signs of a struggle”
  • “The room was littered with alcohol containers and cigarette residue”
  • “There were several open alcohol containers in the floors, chairs, and table and several plastic bags of empty beer containers”

I do not live in denial about Amanda’s struggles. They were real. She had used alcohol since she was in her teens. She self-medicated and numbed anxiety, unresolved grief, and depression with alcohol over the years. Some days after the death of all our family members, it was hard, actually a lot of days it was damn hard for both of us. She talked me through times of not wanting to live, and we shared addictive tendencies. This woman fought for everything she had. There were no other attempted suicides; only one other event reported by her boyfriend as an attempt, which is also surrounded by many questions on this side of her life. This girl worked hard from January 2015 saving money to get away from Brayan and the abuse. She was caught in the vicious cycle of domestic violence.

Brayan was interviewed by the detective later after the incident. Again many references to Amanda’s problems:

  • “He said that Amanda has an alcohol problem and she drinks all the time”
  • “Amanda had been depressed and had been drinking”
  • He went through all the deaths of our family members
  • “Espana said on top of that Amanda had lost her husband and children because of her alcohol and pill abuse about 3 years ago.”
    • Brayan specifically told the detective that she did not take pills or drugs, only alcohol; the detective added that to his report on his own.
  • “He said that Amanda drinks she gets mad and they argue”
  • “He said that she tried to overdose on pills about 4-5 months ago and he made her thrown up and called her sister Kim Mullens to come and take her to the hospital. He said that Amanda’s family did not like him.”
    • Again, this is all questionable, as he was with her during that time frame and would not take her to the hospital. She was scared she was going to die when she called me that night. I told her to make herself throw up and go to the hospital. I begged Brayan to get her to the hospital. I was 8 hours away in Mississippi and felt helpless. When I told him I was going to call an ambulance and police, he said he was taking her, but never did. Her intentions, I feel based on talking with her afterwards, was not a suicide attempt. In an interview with one of her friend’s Maranda, she told of an incident where Brayan and some other Hispanic males were drinking together and she passed out. She felt like she was drugged when she regained consciousness; her vaginal area and legs were bruised and there was a needle mark in her arm. She told her that she thought Brayan had drugged her.

 

 

Statements about our meeting in his report were fabricated as well.

  • “Mullins said that Amanda called her about 1530 hours today wanting her to come and get her” 
    • I never spoke to Amanda that day, only through text message that morning around 10 am when she was looking for Amber’s phone number. Amanda never expressed to me or Justin that she was in grave danger and needed help, she never asked me to come get her. She hated to be a burden to people but she did reach out to her close friend, and did have a way out and a plan.

 

  • “Mullins said that she told Amanda that she could not help her and believes that she attempted suicide out of desperation”.
    • LIE!! Desperation over what, being scared for her life? I may have used the word desperation during our initial meeting at the hospital that night, but it was a cry of guilt on my part that she didn’t call me for help if she was that depressed and hopeless. That night at the hospital, I had no idea what had happened in the previous 24 hours. This conversation that he refers to in his report that I told her I WOULD NOT HELP HER never took place. It is another LIE! If she would have reached out to me that day and told me that Brayan threatened to murder her, I would NOT have hesitated. Again, she had a plan that started working out after 1200 that day, she was scared, not to be confused with desperate.

Other examples of the detective placing emphasis on Amanda’s mental health and addiction in his report:

  • “(Brinlee) knew that she had been depressed and that Espana was abusive to Amanda”
  • Housemate: “….but he knows Amanda drinks a lot of beer and gets argumentative”
  • Housemate: “Amanda comes home every day with beer” Actual interview the house mate called her a ‘weekend warrior’
  • Royal Case HR director: “She said Amanda came to work nearly every day with alcohol on her breath. She had recently been promoted.” HR director denies she ever said that to the detective. If someone comes to work with alcohol on their breath, why would they be in line for a promotion? Who told him she came to work with alcohol on her breath EVERYDAY? The only person interviewed was the HR director.

 

Did Amanda ever have a fair chance at an investigation that would prove or disprove Brayan’s involvement in her death? Just because a person has depression, anxiety, addiction, or grief, do they not deserve a fair investigation into family and friends’ questions and suspicions? Can’t the risk of murder be equal to the risk of suicide, especially with circumstances surrounding a death? I feel that her past mental health history played a huge role in the suicide ruling by Sherman PD and the medical examiners office. I will continue to be her voice.

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

Amanda’s Story of Injustice

August 9, 2016

Today’s post is a continuation of yesterday. It reflects back on the August 3rd and 4th posts, highlighting some inconsistent recall of events. These differences only compounded what we already felt wasn’t right prior to receiving the open record’s file.

The timeline is important. It only takes 3-4 minutes for brain injury to occur, and 5 minutes without oxygen for brain death. Amanda suffered anoxic brain death. Five minutes with this man is sufficient time to cause brain death and her heart to stop beating. If Brayan’s story is even close to his recall, is it possible for her to even have pulseless electrical activity and EMT’s able to restart her heart? Is that possible that she could have been revived if she had been there 30 plus minutes without medical care? Shouldn’t there be marks and wounds to the upper part of her neck if she was there that long, not just along the bottom of the neck? I am seeking answers from experts on my own for the medical and forensic questions.

Following are the events restated from August 4th post from the time Brayan walked upstairs to calling 9-1-1, which continue to be different between actual interview and what was written in detective’s report.

  • Brayan’s interview with Off Aviles:
    • Brayan went upstairs, looked around the room, looked in the closet-did not see
    • Short time later he checked the closet again (how long is “short time”)
    • Saw Amanda sitting on the ground
    • Black electrical cord tied around her neck (was not tied)
    • Brayan removed the cord from neck
    • Left to get his house mate to help
  • Brayan’s interview with Off. Dutton
    • He carried the bag upstairs looking for her
    • Checked the closet and bathroom but did not find her (there were very few clothes hanging on that side because she packed most of her things to leave)
    • He went back downstairs calling her name but did not locate her
    • Went back upstairs & looked again in the closet.
    • Noticed her feet sticking out from the clothing on left hand side of the closet.
    • Realized she was hanging from the neck on the clothing rod (sitting on her knees is not hanging)
    • He grabbed the wire she was hanging from and moved her to the floor
    • Stated her hand and fingers moved
    • Began CPR, and at one point, Amanda gasped
    • He alerted house mate downstairs, who was downstairs, and house mate called 911 (call received by Sherman dispatch at 1916 by house mate)
  • Brayan’s audio interview with Detective on 05/14/2015
    • Saw hairdressing bag downstairs
    • Looked in room, bathroom, shower and closet and called for Amanda but didn’t see her (they lived in a one room apartment)
    • Walked back to the door, then went back to the closet to take off shirt
    • Saw her feet
    • Grabbed cord and “pulled it down” first thing. Didn’t look for something to cut it with, just “pulled it down”
    • Started pushing “neck”, mean upper chest, pushing hard (he said he pushed her neck, but quickly said upper chest)
    • Stated she moved her arm, still alive, blew air in lungs, opened and closed eyes
    • Started screaming for help
    • Went to get neighbor downstairs, met him because he was on his way upstairs already
    • Yelled to call 9-1-1 she hung herself
    • Told him to call 9-1-1, house mate asked for Brayan’s phone
  • Brayan’s interview notes (what was written in detectives’s report from audio interview on 5/14/15)
    • He went upstairs.
    • Did not see her
    • He called her name and she did not reply
    • He checked the bathroom and the closet and walked out of the room.
    • He came back in and took his shirt off to throw in the dirty clothes in the closet
    • He noticed Amanda’s feet sticking out from the wall between the clothes on the left side. (again very few clothes to conceal her during his first search)
    • He called her name and asked why she was in the closet. She did not answer him.
    • He noticed that she was hanging from a cord that was tied to the closet rod and wrapped around her neck (twisted once, not multiple times. It was only 5 feet long)
    • Stated that she was facing the wall on her knees
    • He lifted her up and pulled the cord apart.
    • He laid her on the floor
    • He started banging on the floor trying to get house mate’s attention. (said earlier he left the room and went downstairs)
    • He stated that when he took her down, she moved her arm and gasped
    • He started yelling for help and walked to the door
    • House mate came in with him and they started CPR for 15-20 minutes before dialing 911
  • House mates interview with Off. Aviles
    • Approximately 1800 (6:00pm) he heard Brayan come inside the residence and go upstairs
    • Heard Brayan calling Amanda’s name, then heard OMG.
    • House mate opened his door and saw Brayan standing outside his door.(Brayan stated at times that he yelled for him at the top of the stairs)
    • House mate followed Brayan upstairs and saw Amanda was laying in the closet unconscious
  • House mate’s audio/phone interview with detective on May 17, 2015
    • Heard Brayan yelling for Amanda, then heard OMG.
    • 5 minutes-maybe 10 minutes he came running downstairs and knocking on my door and said she had hung herself and he needed help.
    • Both went upstairs and did CPR 15-20 minutes before calling 911
    • Called 911 from Brayan’s phone and house mate talked to them
    • Wasn’t hanging when he got there, said Brayan had pulled the cord down with his hands to get her down
  • House mate’s audio/phone interview (Detective’s notes in his report from phone interview)
    • They talked for a few minutes then Espana went upstairs
    • He heard Espana calling Amanda’s name
    • Within 5-10 minutes, he heard Espana screaming “oh my God” repeatedly
    • He said Espana came to the door and yelled for help
    • House mate said that he went upstairs
    • Saw Amanda on her back in the closet (with her feet and knees close to the wall)
    • He checked her and she was cold and no pulse (stated earlier she was moving and opened her eyes)
    • He and Espana attempted CPR on her for 10-15 minutes before calling 911
    • Tried to tell Espana it wasn’t doing any good, but he continued to try CPR
    • Espana then dialed 911 and handed him the phone to talk to dispatcher

Times matter, especially when there is a history of domestic violence and a threat of murder. Did the housemate help take Amanda down like he told me and a neighbor or did Brayan do it alone? Did the house mate help with CPR or not? Did Brayan beat on the floor to get his attention or walk downstairs and knock on his door and ask for help? Was Amanda awake and moving, or cold and dead?

What is known for sure is:

  • that the closet had very few clothes hanging to conceal her during his search when he got home
  • that he broke an electrical cord with his bare hands. Who has that physical strength? The box cutter was in the room with him, next to the iron
  • the ligature marks and bruising were low and encircled her entire neck
  • the two loose ends of the cord were tied loosely to the rod, with no additional knots along the cord to cause constriction

We have so many questions, and just want answers. No one is willing to sit down and give explanations.

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

Amanda’s Story of Injustice

August 8, 2016

Today’s post reflects back on August 3 & August 4th. The two previous posts concentrated on what was reported and written by officers and detective about the house mate and Brayan’s account of May 14, 2015. The following are a few questions we had after getting copies of the open record, and for the assistant chief of police when we met in September 2015:

  1. The corporal that was also an acquaintance of ours, called the detective because he knew us and the history of domestic violence between them. The corporal was aware of the active warrant for domestic violence, why wouldn’t he disclose this to the detective? He claimed that he had no knowledge of the warrant, and that his records did not show a warrant and don’t cross over with the county? Really? That’s definitely QI issue!
  2. Why did Brayan’s arrival time change from getting home at 6:00 pm as reported to responding officers’ to 7:00 pm when he talked to detective later that evening? Did he need to account for the extra hour he had with Amanda to cover himself? Wouldn’t you have an awareness that you had only been home 15 minutes versus 1 hour and 15 minutes? Brayan changed his story during the audio interview with the detective. He was allowed to look at his phone during the interview to see what time he called 9-1-1, which was 7:14 pm.
  3. Why is the audio information different from the written report by detective? Following is from the interview done on May 14, 2015
    • Detective asked him to go step by step leading up to incident
      • Audio – Got off work, stopped by gas station, tried to use debit card but declined cash, got on 75 South to Lamar St, then home, walked into back door, neighbor downstairs, talked about 5-7 minutes, saw Amanda’s hairdressing bag downstairs and wondered why it was there. (It’s important to remember he clocked out of work at 5:09pm. Getting home at 6:00pm makes more sense than 7:00 as reported by detective)
      • Written by detective – “He got off work and hung out with some friends. He later stopped at Valero at US 75 and US 82 and purchased some beer. He came home and was drinking out back of the house with (house mate) at about 1900. He stayed outside for about 5 minutes as (house mate) was trying to sell him furniture. He then went upstairs.
        • *Brayan never mentioned that he hung out with friends, what gas station (that I can tell from audio), that he bought beer (that I can tell from audio). From house mate’s report below, he wasn’t sure they talked or hung out when Brayan got home, he initially said that as far as he knew, Brayan went straight into the house (see #5)
  4. The house mate also reported he came home around 6:00 pm to the responding officers. The detective wrote in his report that the responding officer told him Brayan got home around 6:00 pm (later to be determined 7:00 pm).
  5. The phone interview the detective had with the house mate on May 17, 2016 reveals the following discrepancies when asked about times and sequence of events:
    • Question: What time did you get home from work?
      • Audio of what he said – Got home around 5:30-6
      • Written by detective – “he came home between 1830-1900” (6:30-7:00)
        • That’s an hour difference
    • Question: What time did Brayan get home?
      • Audio of what he said – shortly after me
      • Written in report – basically around the same time. He had walked upstairs after he saw Amanda’s bag downstairs. Door was closed, so he went back downstairs and that’s when Brayan arrived home.
    • Question: Did he go straight into the house?
      • Audio – “As far as I know he did. I’m sure he did.” Detective mentioned that Brayan said “ya’ll might have set out back and drank a little bit, do you remember that? House mate’s response, “Umm, we talk all the time, maybe we did, I don’t really remember.”
      • Written in report – “They talked for a few minutes then Espana went upstairs.”

These are our questions from when Brayan got off work until he went upstairs. I want to say that I don’t believe that the house mate has anything to do with Amanda’s injuries/death, but suspect he was told what to say, and did not want to be involved. The house mate told me and a neighbor a completely different story, which I have audio. He was scared when I talked to him both times, and did not want to be involved any further. All the difference should raise some concerns in my opinion.

I often wonder why Brayan would have wanted to stage Amanda’s death (if he did, I’m no expert). Wouldn’t it have been easier to get in his car, drive away and disappear since he was illegal? That’s what he did whenever family and friends started to suspect he may have been involved. Maybe he wasn’t aware that she had reached out to so many that day, telling at least two people that he threatened to kill her and how she feared for her life if she wasn’t gone by 7:00 pm. Maybe for that one hour, they sat drinking together, arguing, her hoping if she could just drink enough and pass out he wouldn’t make her leave, buying her time to have everything together when Amber came the next day. I don’t think he knew that others knew of his evil intentions that night.

In a future post, I will address the discrepancies in sequence of events from when he walked upstairs until he called 9-1-1.

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

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