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Tonight on AC360:  Judge, DA and lawyer accused in Texas corruption case
Murder victim Hermila Hernandez
September 7th, 2012
06:42 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: Judge, DA and lawyer accused in Texas corruption case

The mother of a murdered Texas woman is still demanding justice nearly seven years after the crime.

"I have such pain over my daughter's death," a tearful Hermila Garcia told CNN's Gary Tuchman.

Garcia's daughter, Hermila Hernandez, a teacher and mother of three children was shot to death by Amit Livingston, a former boyfriend. Hernandez's body was found on a remote South Padre Island beach in October 2005.

Two years later, Livingston took a plea deal and received a 23 year prison sentence.

Livingtston should be in prison right now, but he's on the run.

The confessed killer vanished five years ago when Abel Limas, the judge in the murder case, surprisingly allowed Livingston 60 days of freedom to prepare for prison with no bond.

Federal prosecutors in a 34 page indictment say Judge Limas, District Attorney Armando Villalobos and an attorney representing Hernandez's children in the civil trial all tried to cash in on the case.

Judge Limas has pleaded guilty and is helping prosectors build their case against the D.A. and lawyer.

In the stunning indictment, District Attorney Villalobos is accused of bribery, extortion and other charges. Federal prosecutors say Villalobos schemed for a portion of the $500,000 bail money put up for Livingston before his murder trail.

Prosecutors say Villalobos convinced the judge to accept the plea bargin and sentence the killer all in one day, freeing up that money. They then agreed to give some of the money to the murder victim's children, but their attorney then gave chunks of the cash to line the pockets of the judge and D.A, according to prosecutors.

Wait till you see what the D.A. is doing now that he's been indicted. Don't miss Gary Tuchman's report at 8 and 10 p.m. ET.

Update: Watch tonight's report below.

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Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gary Tuchman
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. jj

    Keep watching....This is just the tip of the iceberg...Rosenthal is next in line....

    September 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  2. Cam

    This degree of corruption doesn't exist in a vacuum. Cameron County's DA has held together a chain of corruption over 8 years, refusing to prosecute those involved in election fraud (which helps elect self-admitted crooked judges like Limas as well as others) not to mention, how certain cases ended up in Limas' courtroom to begin with. You'd be shocked at the web of nepotism and the number of felons they hire at the county. We have a county commissioner who tried to get his brother in law a government job at the county, but the man couldn't pass the qualification test, so they had another employee take it for him. Despite being a huge media fiasco yet predictably, has not been prosecuted by this DA. Please look into it, this county and its residents have suffered under massive injustice for too long, thank you for what you do to bringing these things to light, it all deserves to be exposed.

    September 11, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  3. Danny Zuniga

    Mr. Cooper, that was a nice piece done by Tuchman. It was about time that someone outside of the Rio Grande Valley exposed Cameron County for what it is? This is a black eye to law enforcement and the ones who actually do their job HONESTLY! I am sure that Livingston is in his home country of India. I would be willing to bet that the US Marshals know that but cannot get cooperation from the Indian government. To them, this is not a high priority. The only way it would become that is if the government of India would want someone from here and then depending on who they were trading for? Again, congratulations on the story! Hopefully this will cause others who want to cheat the system think twice about it? Let's hope so?

    September 11, 2012 at 12:35 am |
  4. Curt

    (CBS/AP) NORMAL, Ill. – Police say a teacher tackled a student and detained him just after gunshots were fired into the ceiling of a packed classroom at a central Illinois high school. No one was injured.

    Normal Police Chief Rick Bleichner said at a news conference Friday that a 14-year-old student was being questioned after the early-morning incident.

    Bleichner said police entered the classroom and found the teacher had subdued the student. The chief said a handgun was used but shots weren't directed at anyone. The motive wasn't known.

    Walker Simmons, a freshman, told CBS affiliate WMBD he saw his Health class teacher grab the gun from the student and hold him down. He said all the students then ran out of the classroom.

    "I kind of knew him, so I don't know why he was doing anything, but yeah, I was kind of scared. I didn't want to die," Simmons told the station.

    Student Sean Kennedy told WGLT radio in Normal that the gunman pulled a handgun and hatchet from a backpack and told students in the room that no one wanted to listen to him talk about unspecified problems.

    The school evacuated its more than 1,800 students to a nearby church and parents were called to pick them up. All parents were required to sign their children out and no one was allowed to leave on their own, according to WMBD.

    Normal is 135 miles southwest of Chicago.

    September 7, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
  5. Jane - WI

    My husband is pretty much a-political and a moderate. He watched the Clint Eastwood speech on the internet. He said that he thought it was pretty good and he enjoyed it. We live in "fly over" country, which explains why Paul Begala has no clue as to the reaction of regular people to Clint Eastwood.

    September 7, 2012 at 8:31 pm |