“I just wish someone could hear us so they could help us. ……..we have been forgotten, lost or disappeared – we no longer exist. It is not a very nice feeling.”
— Kristie Mayhugh 7/12/07
Kristie’s testimonial about her experiences.
I grew up in San Antonio from the age of 3. My Dad was in the military (air force) and we were stationed there from Montana. I was born in Montana (Great Falls). I am a Northern girl. My parents were divorced when I was 5. I was raised with my mom though. We remained in San Antonio. I graduated from Judson High School at the top 10% of my class. I went to Texas A&M University after I graduated to be a Vet. I went there (1991-92). I went back to San Antonio 1993 and was working. Yes, I am gay – lesbian – I have always been this way.
I left to New Orleans for about 3-4 months I came back to San Antonio and was living with Liz. That is when her nieces came to visit for a week. I took care of them while Liz was at work. Cassie and Anna came over to visit us here and there throughout this week. We all had been friends for a while. This was like late July early August. I started working in August. Sometime in September or October a detective (Matjeka) came to Liz’ apartment to talk to Liz about a homicide. Liz went willingly to the police station. However, that was not the situation when she got to the station. The detective got Liz to get me to come pick Liz up and while I was there they wanted to talk to me. I cooperated willingly and answered the questions. I had never been in trouble before and did not know much about the law. Only that they were there to protect us. I signed a paper saying what I said was true. I did not know that was my statement. I do not believe Liz knew that was either. At a late date I took a polygraph and passed. Liz was not able to because she was pregnant. The detective harassed Anna and Cassie on several occasions to get them to do a statement and polygraph. They finally did so after being threatened about being arrested if they did not do it. Cassie and Anna took the polygraph….. However, polygraphs cannot be used in court as a defense.
Well we never heard (anything) for a while, so I left back to New Orleans. I was in New Orleans 3-4 months again when I heard from a friend that Anna, Cassie and Liz had been arrested, and they were looking for me. This was like March or April… I was working and going to the University of New Orleans. I really did not thing anything had come out of all this mess. Well, I was wrong. So, I flew to Houston to be with my mom. While I was at college – A&M – my mom had moved to Houston. Not sure how the police knew I was in Houston, but I was arrested there. Later transferred to San Antonio. I bonded out and had an attorney. My mom did all that. We all were to go to trial separately. Liz went first. Anna, next Cassie and me – our attorneys decided to go all at once. We all appealed our case. It came back saying there were discrepancies, but not enough to overturn our case. I believe that was bull. If there was one difference then it should have gone back. To me it has been all crazy and a big nightmare that I have been living for 14 years.
Kristie Mayhugh 12/10/07
Excerpts from Kristie’s Letters
… I did not attend Liz’ trial. None of us did. We all were advised by out attorneys not to (Cassie, Anna and I). So I cannot tell you (anything) about her trial or how things went or turned out. I do know from reading her trial transcript and from reading our transcript that there are a lot of differences. The story changes and… what occurred. People that did not know us and sat at the trials knew it was a bunch of lies.
….once we all became incarcerated it was like we disappeared from the face of the earth. Not much has been done to prove our innocence. Some of our families – mostly Ms. Vasquez and Anna’s family have tried, but have not gotten very far. We do need someone that could put as much effort into our case as possible so that we could move forward… We just need some help maybe with an investigator so they could go talk to the girls that have accused us of this to speak the truth. From my understanding one of the girls has confessed that all of this did not happen. If we could get statements from the girls then that could get us back in the courts and on our ways to b released innocent. I just know that we are real close, but we need help somehow, some way… I just wish someone could hear us so they could help us. …we have been forgotten, lost or disappeared – we no longer exist. It is not a very nice feeling. Doing time for something you did not do is not very easy to do. It is hard. We are truly all innocent.
So, where do I start?… – S.L. and V.L. came to stay with (Liz). Liz and I were sharing an apartment. Liz was pregnant and I was trying to get back on my feet. Liz was working and I had not found a job yet. I had just moved back to San Antonio from New Orleans. While Liz was at work I took care of her nieces. Most of the time it was only them and me. However, the next-door neighbors would come over to play with S.L. and V.L. A boy and girl about their age. Cassie and Anna would occasionally stop by. Cassie has two kids of her own and, which she has with her most of the time. The duration that S.L. and V.L. stayed with their Aunt Lisa nothing harmful or out of the ordinary occurred. As a matter of fact they wanted to stay until with their Aunt longer. The only reason S.L. and V.L. were not able to stay longer was because I had been hired for a job and would start. Monday. So the weekend before – Sunday – Liz and I took S.L. and V.L. home to their father.
I believe about a month later we were all being questioned by a detective about this incident. I willingly talked to the detective and took a polygraph, which I passed. Several months down the road we all were arrested. I always thought the legal system was fair and just. I now see that it is not. I was offered a plea several times – 10 years probation, which is really nothing at all. Yes, I could have taken the plea, but to me that was admitting to something I never did. I believed that truth would set me free, so I took my chances in court. I received 15 years. I have done a little over 7 years now. I am still waiting for the truth to set me free. I believe one day it will happen. I cannot give up hope – I keep my faith. It is all we have. I feel like we are close, but still so far away. We have come to prison and have been lost and forgotten. S.L. has admitted that all this never happened, but is afraid to cooperate to help us because her father, Javier is the one who created this lie and has threatened his own daughters to stick with this story. I believe if anything ever did happen to S.L. and V.L. it was by their father.