TWO LIVES, ONE BULLET
On April 23rd, 1995, at approximately 3:45 AM in the streets of Echo Park,
Los Angeles, California. Arthur Mayer was murdered. Just before
the crack of dawn, the darkest time of the night, black skies and even blacker
hearts were abound. A gun battle between two rival gangs erupted and
claimed Mr. Mayer’s life leaving a wake of victims in its path.
On May 16th, 1995, at approximately 6:00 AM a man was asleep in the arms
of his wife in San Bernardino, California. His son was at arms length
away feeding in the crib. As abruptly as the bullet struck Arthur Mayer
dead, so the devastation of another man’s began. Like a shot in the
dark from a distant sniper. One was struck by a bullet and the other
by a badge—they both kill.
Officer’s Marroquin and his partner Anderson were working patrol car 11Z1.
They were in the vicinity of Echo Park Avenue and Scott Avenue when a request
call was broadcast of a shooting in progress at 1933 Scott Avenue and they
responded — they arrived within a minute. The initial officers on the
scene observed no unusual activity whatsoever; no pedestrian traffic; no vehicles
leaving the scene. Sergeant O’Neil met them at the scene in patrol
car 116Z0; he was in the vicinity of Glendale Boulevard and Alessandro Street
when the call was broadcast. Officer’s Marroquin, Anderson, and Sergeant
O’Neil did not hear any shots being fired.
As these officers communicated with each other on Scott Avenue and Lake
Shore Street, a citizen drove east bound on Scott Avenue from Glendale Boulevard
and stopped next to them. The citizen informed the trio that a man had
been shot on Glendale Boulevard. The officers asked the citizen “Where
on Glendale?” and the unknown citizen replied, “In front of McDonald’s.”
All the officers immediately responded to the location.
Upon reaching the location on Glendale Boulevard in front of McDonald’s
they observed a black van on the southbound lanes of Glendale Boulevard on
the street next to the curb. The officers pulled in behind the vehicle,
approximately 50 feet. It was apparent that most of the windows had
been shot out. Officer Anderson and Marroquin approached the van on
foot to clear it of possible suspects, guns drawn. As Marroquin approached
the driver’s side, he observed a male Hispanic sitting in the driver’s seat
leaning over towards the front passenger seat. He could see that he
had an apparent gunshot wound to the back of the head near the neck; he was
still breathing, but with difficulty. The officer immediately requested
an additional unit to respond to the location for the crime scene.
As the officer was requesting additional units to respond to the scene,
another citizen who resides on Glendale Boulevard directly across from the
McDonald’s came out of the residence and waived at Officer Marroquin.
The officer crossed the street to investigate. That citizen informed
him that a woman wearing a black dress had been in the street screaming for
help. The officers had not seen her anywhere in the area. When
asked whether he had heard the shooting, the citizen stated the he heard
the shooting and saw the van come to a stop there with the woman in the back
dress running out of it.
While speaking to this citizen, the officer observed the female come running
out of the Kentucky Fried Chicken parking lot. She was screaming for
help. The officers approached her and could hear her screaming, “Those
fucken’ cholos! They shot my husband!” They tried to calm her
down, but she was hysterical. The woman provided the police with a partial
description of the shooter as a male Hispanic, cholo type, wearing a green
plaid shirt. She stated that they shot them at the gas station at Scott
Avenue and Glendale Boulevard. She stated that the suspects ran in
an eastbound direction on Scott Avenue from Glendale Boulevard and possibly
northbound on Liberty Street.
As Officer Marroquin was gathering this information, the sergeant stated
that the radio was broadcasting that the shooting suspects possibly had ran
into 1933 Scott Avenue. They then formulated a response team and went
to that location, deployed on it and door knocked it with no answer, and then
deployed on the perimeter.
Subsequently, Officer Marroquin transported the woman to the Northeast Police
Department. The woman stated that she and her husband were returning
home when they decided to buy cigarettes at the Mobil gas station located
on Glendale Boulevard and Scott Avenue. She further stated that she
was parked facing northbound, facing Scott Avenue while her husband was paying
for the cigarettes. She observed two (2) male Hispanics on the Eastside
of Glendale on Scott Avenue start to shoot at their vehicle from the middle
of the street. One of the male hispanics had brown hair, approximately
5’7” to 5’8” tall, wearing a plaid shirt shoot at them with unknown type handgun.
The suspect continued to shoot at them from Scott Avenue and Glendale Boulevard
while they were southbound on Glendale Boulevard from Scott Avenue.
Arthur Mayer was then struck by a round. She then began screaming for
help and minutes later the police arrived.
My name is Timothy Fonseca. I was convicted and sentenced to life
in prison for this crime. The problem is that I am innocent.
The evidence gathered in this case, like the fingerprints on the alleged
murder weapon that do not match mine but somebody else, was not used to prove
my innocence. The testimony of the officers were carefully crafted
lies that twisted the evidence to convict their intended target, me.
The witnesses were manipulated by these same officers to say what they (the
witnesses) believed was the truth. How can this be, you may ask?
Well, let me tell you just how.
Only a few hours after the crime was committed neighbors of 1933 Scott Avenue
(the residence of the suspects), a Ms. Stuart and Mr. Preston were brought
down to the North-East station to give statements about what they saw and/or
heard. According to the Chronological Record, they were interviewed
at 0740 on April 23, 1995. In this report, it is not reflected that
she tells the police that she heard any monikers being yelled out into the
night. Yet I the field notes of the detectives that performed these
interviews it is recorded that Ms. Stuart states that she heard a few monikers,
one of which being “Sniper”. The problem is that the date on this so-called
field report is dated April 28, 1995, five days after this alleged interview
took place. According to the transcripts of my trial, Ms. Stuart was
not contacted again until the trial a year and half later. Do you know
what happened? She is summoned to court and as soon as she walks through
the door the district attorney hands her these bogus notes and advises her
to refresh her memory concerning her statement. She then proceeds to
testify to it without even thinking that perhaps her statement was changed—not
bothering to look at the fact that the statement she is reviewing does not
have her signature.
At midnight on April 23rd, 1995, detectives threatened a young juvenile
gang member by the name of “Evil” to come down to the Northeast station.
In this interview, according to the officers, Daniel (aka Evil) says he was
there, but had nothing to do with the murder and that “Sniper did it”.
That is when the detectives began molding the evidence and incoming information
to fit me.
On April 28th, 2003, Roxanne (victim/witness) came to the Northeast station
to view a photo 6-Pack of possible suspects. Initially she chose pictures
#2 (which was not myself), but commented that the guy in #3 looked a lot alike.
I was the subject in picture #3. Based on this information the detectives
had me arrested for first degree murder, but it was subsequently dismissed
by the district attorney for lack of evidence.
During the investigation, the detectives learned that there were numerous
gang members at 1933 Scott Avenue, where the shooting was initiated, and the
residence of two brothers (known gang members) who were involved in the shooting
that resulted in the death of Arthur Mayer. One of these brothers was
shot in the exchange of gunfire.
Upon searching the residence of 1933 Scott Avenue numerous weapons and live
ammo were found inside the dwelling and hidden under bushes in the back yard.
One of the four (4) weapons found turned out to be the alleged murder weapon,
a SKS Assault Rifle. None of the gang members that were present at the
time of the murder were charged with the crime, including the residents of
where these weapons were discovered.
The alleged murder weapon, the SKS, contained finger prints but were never
used against me in court because they did not match my own.
On June 29th, 1995, Northeast Police Department obtained a warrant to force
me to subject myself to a live line-up. Naturally, I complied.
But at the time, I was not made aware that the witness had already been exposed
to my picture. The initial choice (picture #2) from the photo 6-pack
was NOT in my live line-up. Therefore, the witness was given a one sided
view of the possible suspects and went with the face that looked familiar,
which she testifies to in the trial.
What more can I say? A lot! What I’ve shared with you here in
these few pages is only the highlights of the injustices done to me.
It is hard not to be angry and not to preach about how I’ve been wronged,
because I will be the first to admit that at one time I acted as a gang member
and used violence to solve my problems. But what you don’t know is that
I only did it while incarcerated. When you are forced to live amongst
the dregs of society, a man, any man, must do things that in normal company
he would not do. Prison is a violent and disgusting place. I
make no excuse for it because it is not my creation. Nevertheless, I
did not murder Arthur Mayer. The true perpetrator of this crime roams
free amongst you as I live out my life in prison.
© Copyright 2003 Timothy Fonseca
If you can help Timothy please e-mail Lynn Fonseca