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Fathers Confront Gang Members Who Raped and Killed Daughters

October 12, 1994| From Associated Press

HOUSTON — Over objections from defense lawyers, two grieving fathers lashed out in court Tuesday at the gang members who raped and killed their teen-age daughters.

"We live for the day that you die," a tearful Randy Ertman said after the three defendants were sentenced to death. "You are baby killers."

As the last of the three was being led from the packed courtroom, Ertman told him, "I'll watch you die, boy."

The fathers were allowed to confront their daughters' killers under a Texas law that allows victims or their surviving relatives to speak at sentencing.

The fathers berated the defendants even though they were told to be civil and to speak to the judges instead.

At one point Ertman said: "You are worse than spit. You belong in hell."

On Tuesday, Efrain Perez, 18, Raul Villarreal, 18, and Joe Medellin, 19, showed no emotion during the fathers' speeches. They were convicted last month.

Two other gang members, Peter Cantu and Derrick Sean O'Brien, both 19, had already been sentenced to death in the case. A sixth defendant, Vinny Medellin, 15, got 40 years because he is a juvenile.

While taking a shortcut home from a party about 11:30 p.m. on June 24, 1993, Jennifer Ertman, 14, and Elizabeth Pena, 16, came upon six gang members drinking and holding a gang initiation. The gang members grabbed the girls and took turns raping them for an hour before killing them. The bodies were found four days later.

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