Update: August 5, 2014  11:45 am EDT

Manuel Vasquez was scheduled to be executed at 6 pm CDT, on August 6, 2014, at the Walls Unit of the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas.  Manuel has since been removed from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s online execution calendar.  Forty-six-year-old Manuel is convicted of murdering 51-year-old Juanita Ybarra on March 19, 1998, in San Antonio, Texas.  Manuel has spent the last 14 years on Texas’ death row.

Manuel worked as a welder, carpenter, and laborer.  He was previously arrested for aggravated assault with bodily injury and released on mandatory supervision for a second time in 1995.
Manuel Vasquez was an alleged member of the Mexican Mafia.  On March 14, 1998, Vasquez was present when it was announced by a high ranking member of the Mexican Mafia that Juanita Ybarra “had to go down” because she failed to pay the Mexican Mafia their cut of the sale of illegal drugs.

On the night of March 18, 1998, Vasquez attended a party at the New Laredo Motel, which involved smoking marijuana, drinking beer, injecting heroin, and snorting cocaine.  Juanita was also staying at the hotel that night.  Early on the morning of March 19, Vasquez, along with Oligario Lujan and Johnny Cruz, went to the room where Juanita was staying.  They covered their faces and wore socks on their hands to prevent leaving fingerprints. 

The three knocked on the door to Juanita’s room.  Juanita’s friend, Moses Bazan, was staying with her that night because she was scared.  Moses answered the door, leaving the chain in place.  Vasquez, Lujan, and Cruz, forced their way into the room, breaking the chain.  Moses was attacked and fought back, yelling, breaking a window, and punching a hole in the wall.  Moses was eventually knocked unconscious.  

Vasquez attacked Juanita, attempting to strangle her.  Juanita fought back by biting him in the hand.  Cruz went to help Vasquez.  The duo hit Juanita over ten times.  When Moses regained consciousness, Cruz went back and forth between Juanita and Moses.  Juanita was strangled to death using a telephone cord.  Moses survived the attack.  The trio robbed the room before leaving.

Cruz reached a plea deal, which involved him truthfully testifying against Vasquez in exchange for a lesser sentence.  Before his plea deal, Cruz gave several false reports to the police.  Vasquez was convicted in November of 1999.

Manuel Vasquez's execution has been delayed at his lawyer's request.  The state has agreed to the stay as Manuel's lawyer was "behind schedule" on filing necessary paperwork before the execution, including clemency petitions.  No new execution date has yet been set.

Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Juanita Ybarra and for Moses Bazan and his family.  Please pray that for strength for the family of Manuel Vasquez.  Please pray that Manuel will come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.

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