Evidence destroyed in 1986 murder case - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Evidence destroyed in 1986 murder case

Florencio Calzada Florencio Calzada
David Stoker, Source: Texas Department of Criminal Justice David Stoker, Source: Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Johnny Ray Klein, Source: Wichita Falls Police Department Johnny Ray Klein, Source: Wichita Falls Police Department

AMARILLO, TX (KCBD) - A previous murder indictment of an executed Texas man could affect a murder case in Randall County. KCBD NewsChannel 11 told you about an arrest made in a 24-year-old cold case for the murder of a Lorenzo man on November 30th. However, some old records show that the case had already been cleared. Another man had already been indicted for the 1986 murder of Florencio Calzada.

Police say Calzada was found dead in a bar-ditch off Interstate 27 in December of 1986. He was found near Wayside, Texas in between Plainview and Amarillo.

David Stoker, 37, was indicted in 1999 for Calzada's shooting death. Stoker was never tried in Randall County for the murder because he was on death row at the time and was executed two years before his indictment in 1997. The Randall County District Attorney James Farren says the case became procedural and part of that procedure was destroying evidence because they didn't think there would be a trial. "Special crimes had a crisis back in 1999 and they were booked with evidence. If we didn't do this, the taxpayers would have to pay for a new evidence room," said Farren.

Monday evening, November 29th, Johnny Ray Klein was arrested for Calzada's murder near Wayside after an eye witness came forward with new information. "After going back into the reports and seeing some of the pictures, we were able to go back and confirm that this person's information was very specific," said Lieutenant Gary Trupe with Potter-Randall Special Crimes Unit. Since evidence was destroyed, the Randall County D.A.'s office has no physical evidence as they begin working on a trial against Klein. "Sure it complicates things, if there is a trial there is controversy," said Farren.

Calzada's family found out about the arrest of Klein last Tuesday and was shocked. Calzada's sister Rosa Maria told KCBD NewsChannel 11 on November 30th that the family has been down this road before. She said about 10 years ago authorities told her they thought they found a suspect. She hopes the man responsible for her brother's death is behind bars. Rosa Maria is appreciative witnesses reported the information, but wished answers would have come sooner. "They should have come out then, not 25 years later," she said.

Farren says despite the lack of physical evidence; Randall County has other elements for the prosecution's case. According to Farren, this procedure to clear evidence has happened about a half a dozen times in the 16 years he has served as D.A. None of those cases though involved a murder.

Klein remains in the Wichita County jail with a bond of $100,000. He is expected to be moved to Randall County where the incident took place. David Stoker was sentenced and placed on death row for the November 1986 robbery-slaying of David Manrrique, 50, a store clerk in Hale Center.

©2010 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved.

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