Sun coverage: Fallstaff slayings

Noemi Quezada and Ricardo Espinoza

Clutching flowers, a candle and a teddy bear, parents Noemi Quezada and Ricardo Espinoza weep during a vigil to mourn their children, who were found slain in a Northwest Baltimore apartment. (Sun photo by Karl Merton Ferron / June 2, 2004)

Archived coverage of the May 2004 killings of three Mexican children in the Northwest Baltimore neighborhood.

Appeals court overturns convictions in vicious killings of children

11:41 PM EDT, June 17, 2011

Appeals court overturns convictions in vicious killings of children

Maryland's highest court overturned the convictions of two men who were found guilty of the murders of three children in a Northwest Baltimore apartment seven years ago, ruling Friday that the trial judge made mistakes that prevented the defendants from receiving a fair trial.

January 28, 2009

Two convicted in slayings return to court

The 2006 trial of Adan Canela and Policarpio Espinoza was one of the longest in Baltimore history - stretching two months and including 21 days of testimony about the near-beheadings of three of their young relatives.

June 30, 2006

Guide to the case

Ever since the slashing deaths of three children May 27, 2004, in Northwest Baltimore, city residents have tried to make some sense of the brutal crime. But it has not been easy. The victims and the defendants, Policarpio Espinoza and Adan Canela, all are part of a large family of illegal Mexican immigrants who moved to Baltimore. Few of the family members speak English, and the relationships among the relatives are confusing.

August 16, 2005

Motive in killings remains unclear

Despite five weeks of testimony, the reason behind the slashing deaths last year of three elementary school children in Northwest Baltimore is "some secret buried in the family," a prosecutor told jurors in her closing arguments yesterday in the trial of the two relatives charged in the killings.

August 12, 2005

Triple murder trial is near end

The 15-year-old brother of a defendant on trial in the slashing deaths of three children testified yesterday that one of the two suspects may have been at home in Baltimore County about the same time police believe the crime occurred in Northwest Baltimore.

August 9, 2005

Lab tests link men, clothes to killings

Four pieces of clothing - including two pairs of blue jeans frequently mentioned by prosecutors - contain the blood of three slain children and genetic material consistent with the two men on trial for the killings, a Baltimore police DNA expert testified yesterday.

August 8, 2005

Lifting language barrier in court

Marta S. Goldstein leans in to hear what the judge is saying during private conferences at the bench, sometimes pulls up a chair near a soft-spoken witness who is testifying, and strides across the courtroom to the jury box to catch everything the attorneys say.

August 7, 2005

Paul Moore: Violence against children poses reporting challenge

NOTHING TROUBLES most readers as much as stories about violence against children.

August 6, 2005

DNA expert paves way for next step in prosecution of men for 3 killings

A DNA expert took the stand yesterday in the Baltimore trial of two men accused of killing three young relatives and gave jurors a science lesson as prosecutors prepared to introduce evidence that they say ties the defendants to the killings.

July 30, 2005

Prosecutors present bloody jeans, gloves in killing of 3 children

Prosecutors reiterated yesterday the importance of two pairs of blue jeans and for the first time told jurors about work gloves that they say tie two men on trial to the grisly killings last year of three children in Northwest Baltimore.

July 29, 2005

Jurors get their first look at prosecution evidence

Baltimore prosecutors introduced yesterday tantalizing evidence against two men on trial in the killing of three children - only to have a defense attorney point out during cross-examination that much of it amounted to nothing.

July 27, 2005

Slain boy's mother talks of overtures by suspect

A woman whose 10-year-old son was slain last year along with two younger cousins testified yesterday that one of the men on trial in the killings, and the man's father, had made overtures toward her.

July 19, 2005

Relatives' testimony raises questions about killings of 3 children

Two more relatives of the Mexican immigrants on trial in the brutal killings of three children took the witness stand yesterday and gave testimony that raised more questions about the behavior of family members the day of the killings.

July 16, 2005

Defense lawyers ask homicide detective about his experience as actor on TV drama

Taking the witness stand yesterday for the third consecutive day, a homicide detective who interviewed the two Mexican immigrants accused of killing three young relatives was put on the defensive -- about his acting abilities.

July 15, 2005

Younger suspect was 'cold,' says detective

The Baltimore homicide detective who interviewed two men charged with killing their three young relatives described in court yesterday the older suspect as cooperative and calm and the younger one as cold and arrogant.

July 12, 2005

Mother of slain children testifies

About an hour before finding the bloodied bodies of their elementary school-age children, the mothers were parked at a nearby bank, praying and fretting, one mother testified yesterday at the trial of the accused killers.

July 9, 2005

DNA points to 3 kids' killers, says prosecutor

The trail of blood from the three Mexican children whose throats were slashed last year in a Northwest Baltimore apartment leads to two pairs of blue jeans worn by the relatives who are on trial for the murders, a prosecutor said in opening statements yesterday.

July 8, 2005


Opening statements due in child murder case

With a jury selected yesterday afternoon, opening statements are set to begin this morning in the murder trial of two Mexican immigrants accused of slashing the throats of their three young relatives last year in Northwest Baltimore.

June 3, 2005


Move to postpone trial denied in killings of 3

A Baltimore Circuit Court judge denied yesterday a defense request to postpone the murder trial of two men accused of slashing the throats of three young relatives - meaning that the trial is likely to begin Wednesday.

April 30, 2005

Suspect in killings of children called 'coldest person'

The city police detective who interrogated two men accused of slashing the throats of three children last May said yesterday that the younger suspect was "the coldest person" he had ever interviewed.

April 27, 2005

Defendants in killings of 3 children gave contradictory details, state says

Two men accused of slashing the throats of three young relatives last year gave contradictory statements to police about their whereabouts the day of the killings, city prosecutors said yesterday.

December 14, 2004

Judge says no conflict found for 2 lawyers in children's slaying case

The murder trial of two men accused of slitting the throats of three of their young relatives in Northwest Baltimore likely won't begin until this spring, but a judge determined yesterday that the relationship of the men's attorneys does not constitute a conflict of interest.

November 24, 2004

Questions could delay trial of two charged with killings of 3 children

The trial next month of two men accused of slashing the throats of three Mexican children may be delayed as city prosecutors question whether the men's attorneys are working too closely together.

November 6, 2004

Lawyers for men accused of killing 3 children criticize prosecution

Defense attorneys for two young men charged in the gruesome killings of three children criticized prosecutors after a hearing yesterday, saying that they haven't been able to view much of the state's evidence and that what they have seen has been sloppy.

November 4, 2004

Men charged in killing of 3 children won't face death, their attorneys say

Two Mexican immigrants accused of killing three children in Northwest Baltimore in May will not face the death penalty, according to defense lawyers who said they were told that by prosecutors. Instead, the city state's attorney's office will seek life without parole, said James Rhodes, the lawyer for one of those accused, Adan Espinoza Canela.

September 8, 2004

Kin arraigned in killings of three children

As the two suspects in the gruesome murder of three Mexican children pleaded not guilty yesterday in Baltimore Circuit Court, parents of the victims deplored the charges and insisted police have gone after the wrong men.

July 24, 2004

DNA links uncle to deaths of 3 children

A bloody glove discovered in a car trunk links the uncle of three Mexican children killed in Northwest Baltimore to their deaths, sources familiar with the investigation said after seeing the results of DNA testing.

June 25, 2004

2 Mexicans indicted in killings of children

Two Mexican immigrants were indicted yesterday by a Baltimore grand jury in the slashing deaths of three young relatives, one of whom was beheaded and the others partially beheaded.

June 14, 2004

Bodies of 3 slain children buried

TENENEXPAN, Mexico - The bodies of three children slain in Baltimore were buried yesterday in Mexico, amid the wails of relatives who wondered aloud who could have killed them and friends and family members demanding justice.

June 13, 2004

Children’s coffins arrive in Mexican village

TENENEXPAN, Mexico - The bodies of three children brutally killed in Baltimore arrived yesterday in this small farming village, greeted by the wails of relatives who shouted "Why?" and a woman who screamed "My son, my son!"

June 4, 2004

'Oh, it hurts, Lord'; many mourn at viewing

Touched by the tragedy, people streamed into Harlem Park Community Baptist Church last night to offer their respects and comfort to the families of three slain Northwest Baltimore children whom most had never even met.

June 3, 2004

Community comes together to weep, support families

As scores of mourners scattered, seeking refuge from sudden chilly gusts of rain, Luz Kordell remained.

June 3, 2004

Border crossings: prosperity, peril

TENENEXPAN, Mexico - The route that Noemi and Andrea Quezada traveled from this small farming village into the United States is an inhospitable passage, but one that many of their family members have chanced over the years in an effort to escape grinding poverty.

June 2, 2004

Attorneys fight back for 2 held in killings

Policarpio Espinoza baby-sat and nurtured the children he and his nephew are accused of decapitating, defense attorneys said yesterday as they began to challenge some evidence gathered by police.

June 1, 2004

Hearing set for suspects in killings

Two men charged with killing three young children in a Park Heights apartment last week are scheduled for bail review hearings today in Baltimore District Court, even as new details emerge about the children's deaths.

May 31, 2004

A village prepares to bury 3 children

TENENEXPAN, Mexico - The parents of Lucero, Ricardo and Alexis Quezada wanted their children to understand the simple life of their hometown, so in March, they sent them from Baltimore to this small farming village near the country's eastern coast, known mostly for its tall, abundant mango trees.

May 30, 2004

One account of 3 killings, but no motive

One of two Mexican immigrants charged with killing three children in their Northwest Baltimore apartment told police that he sat in his car while the younger suspect was inside the home for 40 minutes.

May 29, 2004

City neighborhood grows more diverse

Exactly four weeks ago yesterday, a Mexican grill replaced a failed kosher restaurant on Reisterstown Road near Seven Mile Lane.

May 29, 2004

Tears, fears push aside reading and arithmetic

It was a day that could haunt the dreams of 700 children for years to come, but Matthew Riley did his best to make it all seem normal.

May 29, 2004

Uncle, cousin held in deaths of 3 children

Two Mexican immigrants who joined relatives grieving for three slain children Thursday night were arrested at the crime scene and charged yesterday with the killings, police said.

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