Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

David Vasquez

First NameDavid
Last NameVasquez
Year of Conviction1985
Year of Exoneration1989
Testing inculpated culpritNon-Cold Hit
State of ConvictionVirginia
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaGuilty Plea
Type of CrimeMurder
Death SentenceNo
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeHispanic
Mentally Ill or Intellectually DisabledIntellectually Disabled
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

Alibi notice presented prior to guilty plea.

Types of evidence at trial
  • Confession
  • Eyewitness
  • Forensic Evidence
Were non-public facts alleged?Yes
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • Hair
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Vague
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

An analyst had concluded that the defendant’s hairs were “consistent with” questioned hairs from the crime scene.

Identity of eyewitness
  • Non-victim
Multiple eyewitnesses2
Suggestive Procedures

No transcript – court file indicates that people identified Vasquez as having been in the neighborhood of the victim’s house at the time of the crime

Examples of Non-Public or Corroborated Facts and Inconsistencies

● Venetian blind cords used to hang victim (see next column) BUT – leading apparent from the recording and State acknowledge that “at times his statements were virtually incomprehensible”

Quotes from law enforcement testimony

Guilty Plea – no trial. Excerpt from recorded interrogation: “Det. 1: Did she tell you to tie her hands behind her back? Vasquez: Ah, if she did, I did. Det. 2: Whatcha use? Vasquez: The ropes? Det. 2: No, not the ropes. Whatcha use? Vasquez: Only my belt. Det. 2: No, not your belt… Remember being out in the sunroom, the room that sits out to the back of the house? …and what did you cut down? To use? Vasquez: That, uh, clothesline? Det. 2: No, it wasn’t a clothesline, it was something like a clothesline. What was it? By the window? Think about the Venetian blinds, David. Remember cutting the Venetian blind cords? Vasquez: Ah, it’s the same as rope? Det. 2: Yeah. . . . Det. 2: (slamming his hand on the table and yelling) You hung her! Vasquez: What? Det. 2: You hung her! Vasquez: Okay, so I hung her.

Quotes from prosecution arguments

Guilty Plea – no trial.

Interrogation RecordedAudiotape of part of interrogation
Highest level reachedNR

Read more about this exoneration

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