Prosecutor preparing to introduce work gloves as evidence in killings

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July 21, 2005|By Julie Bykowicz | Julie Bykowicz,SUN STAFF

A prosecutor began laying the foundation yesterday to introduce what could be bloody gloves found in a car used by the two men on trial in the slashing deaths of three Mexican immigrant children last year in Northwest Baltimore.

Policarpio Espinoza, 23, and Adan Canela, 18, are on trial in Baltimore Circuit Court facing three counts of first-degree murder and conspiracy charges in the deaths of Lucero Espinoza, 8, her 9-year- old brother Ricardo Espinoza, and their 10-year-old male cousin Alexis Espejo Quezada.

Detective Juan Diaz testified yesterday that he found 22 work gloves in a green 1993 Pontiac Grand Am that Policarpio Espinoza drove and in which Canela was frequently a passenger. Diaz showed jurors 20 of those gloves.

Assistant States Attorney Sharon R. Holback asked Diaz whether another two gloves that were not shown to the jury also were recovered. Diaz said that they were. Gloves have been mentioned throughout the investigation as a key piece of evidence that ties at least one of the defendants to the scene of the May 27, 2004, slayings.

Diaz, who speaks Spanish and was the only police official in direct communication with the defendants, also testified about being present at Mercy Hospital in early June when samples of blood, hair and saliva were taken from Espinoza and Canela.

Also yesterday, Diaz read an edited English transcript of his interview with Espinoza. All references to Canela had been removed, but jurors learned that Espinoza said he was at the children's apartment complex the afternoon of the killings.

According to the statement, Espinoza told detectives that he never got out of his car. He also said that he never told family members about being outside of the apartment because he was afraid of the reaction of one of his brothers.

Espinoza is the younger brother of Ricardo Espinoza Perez, who is the father of two of the slain children, Lucero and Ricardo. Those men also are the younger brothers of Victor Espinoza Perez, who is Canela's father and who has been called the leader of the family.

Diaz described Policarpio Espinoza as "cold" but also as "anxious" during part of the interview. The detective characterized Canela as "a person who has no love."

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