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Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 12:08am
El Paso, TX (KDBC) — Dozens of family and friends welcomed Daniel home with open arms even those you would least expect.
It was a long day, not only was Daniel released from prison -- he also celebrated a late birthday and Christmas. He even got a private light show at the Fred Loya house. And surprisingly, some of those who celebrated with him -- were family members of the victims killed in the double murder back in 1993.
Daniel Villegas pulls up to his parents’ home in Far East El Paso into a new life. And into a world that has changed so much since he was first imprisoned at 16-years-old.
The now 37-year-old is catching up with technology. Surrounded by friends, family, and supporters. Some, who were not always by his side.
"I hated Daniel I really… I couldn't… because he took something away from me. He took my friends from me,” Jesse Hernandez, a survivor from the drive by shooting that claimed the life of two of his friends, Robert England and Armando “Mando” Lazo. He no longer thinks Daniel did it. "This moment, today, is Daniel's day so I'm just very grateful and I'm happy that he's enjoying his dinner.”
And Hernandez isn't alone. "I just wish they would try to find justice in this case,” Mando Martinez, Lazo’s cousin told us.
"I want justice for their murders. You know, not a false justice a true justice." He wants the District Attorney to find the real murderers.
"I wish the DA would probably do something about it. I don't feel that he's going to. I guess they have to reopen the investigation,” Martinez said.
Meanwhile, Daniel settles into his new life. Looking toward new experiences outside of prison walls.
Getting used to new surroundings and a world that is not the same place it was in 1995.
Both Hernandez and Martinez say while they do miss Robert England and Mando Laz, they are grateful that Daniel is out of prison.