Daniel Villegas was 16 when he confessed to the 1993 double homicide in El Paso, Texas on Electric Avenue. But he later said he was coerced to confess by police. A jury couldn’t reach a verdict in his first trial. In his second trial, a jury found him guilty and sent him to prison for life. In January 2014, 22 years after the deaths, Villegas was released from jail and told he will receive a third trial.
While the trial is being appealed by prosecutors, Villegas is “working and living a normal life.” He is working for the husband of his former sister-in-law, John Mimbela, who launched a campaign to free Villegas. Since his release, Villegas became a father. His girlfriend gave birth to a baby boy on September 11, 2014. He is also reconnecting with a daughter who was born when he was first incarcerated. Mimbela told El Paso Times, “He is doing good. He is working with me. He is trying to live his life and raise his family. He is excited and nervous. We are still hoping for the best.” Dateline NBC will air its investigative report of the Villegas case on October 16 at 9pm.