THE INCIDENT AT LA CHUZA, DUVAL COUNTY, TEXAS
Proceedings of an inquest on the bodies of Filomeno Rios, Epifaneo Rios, Vicente Garcia, Jorge Rodriguez, Jose Maria, Leonardo Garza and Bias Mata, shepherds in the employ of Don Toribio Lozano, of Aguafrio, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, found dead at La Chuza, Duval County, Tex., on the 9th of November, A. D. 1873.
(On account of the Indian troubles was unable to proceed to the spot until the 5th day of December, A. D. 1873.)
The following jurors were impaneled and sworn, viz : Calixto Tovar, Alonso Allen, T. A. Shaw, Owen Sinnott, D. G. Ramirez, and Francisco G. Flores.
On examination, the bodies were found hanging to trees in a creek, about one mile oft sheep-pen fronting La Chuza, and within a distance of twenty yards of each other. The brothers Filomeno and Epitacio Rios were hanging on one limb, and Jorge Rodriguez on another limb of the same tree ; Blas Mata on a tree about 6 feet from Jorge Rodriguez ; Leonardo Garza to a tree about twenty yards from the Rios brothers ; Vicente Garcia on a tree about four yards in front of Leonardo Garza; and Jose Maria about half-way between the Rios brothers and Leonardo Garza. Some of them had their hands tied with what is called granny knots. The trail of horses, twelve or more, was found going in the direction of the Nueces River. The hats and blankets of the victims were laying near them, and the ropes with which they were hung was quarter-inch, commonly used for coping sheep and goat*. The process of strangulation undoubtedly caused their death, and, from the appearance of the bodies, they had been hanging several days.
First witness, Miguel Martinez, being duly sworn, says that, on the 29th of November, 1873, Encarnacio Garcia Garza sent me to the Chuza, in Duval County, to see if it was true that the shepherds of Toribio Lozano were hung. I got to the Chuza at midnight, and went with a shepherd named Desiderio to where the bodies were. I examined the bodies with matches to see if they had wounds, and I did not see any cause for their death except that they were hung. I found seven bodies hanging.
Sworn and subscribed to before me.
JAMES O. LUBY, Justice of the Peace, Precinct 3, Nueces County.
We, the undersigned jurors, find that the bodies of Filomeno Rios, Epifaneo Rios, Vicente Garcia, Jorge Rodriguez, Leonardo Garza, Jose Maria, and Blas Mata were found hung to trees by parties unknown, some with their hands tied behind and some before, their bodies not appearing shot or stabbed.
CALIXTO TOVAR, Foreman.
La Chuza, December 8, 1873.
Proceedings of an inquest held on the bodies of Filomeno Rios, Epifaneo Rios,. Jorge Rodriguez, Jose Maria, Leonardo Garza, Vicente Garcia, and Bias Mata, December 6,1873, at La Chuza, Duval County.
JAMES O. LUBY, Justice of the Peace, Precinct No. 3, Nueces County, Acting Coroner.
Filed January 28, A. D. 1874.
The State Of Texas, County of Nueces, :
I, Joseph Fitzsimmons, clerk of the district court in and for said Nueces County, and
legal custodian of the records thereof, hereby certify that the foregoing three pages
contain a true and correct report of the coroner's inquest on the bodies of the
seven shepherds found hung at the Rancho La Chuza, in Duval County on the 29th November A.
D. 1873, as the same appears in the original report of said inquest filed in office of the
clerk of the district court of said county on the 29th day of January A. D. 1874.
Certified copy of inquest on bodies of seven shepherds found hung at Rancho La Chuza, December 6, 1873 Duval County.
Filed January 28th A. D. 1874
Source: Papers Relating to the Foreign
Relations of the United States
page created Feb. 23, 2009