I am a Killer (2018) s02e09 Episode Script

A Silent Order

I couldn't believe I committed murder.
I took away two men out of their lives.
I would never be able to give back.
I'm truly sorry for what I did to them boys.
My name is Brandon Hutchison.
I was charged with two counts of first-degree murder.
And I was given the death penalty.
I've never talked about this or I've never implicated anybody or myself in anything.
I know what I did.
And I'm taking responsibility for that.
This is a true story.
I'll start it off like that.
I just wanted to rebel.
I wanted to cause chaos.
I looked over at him.
We're gonna see who kills who.
I made the choice.
I took his life.
It's something that I never intended to do, I wish I didn't do.
I knew I was gonna get out of that car and murder those two men.
As he kneeled in front of me, all I remember is pulling the trigger.
I'd killed them both.
I'd stabbed them to death.
I was born in Ventura, California.
I was raised out there till I was 18 or 19.
I had two brothers, one older brother and one younger brother.
There was some sexual abuse during my childhood.
I'm not sure when it started.
I can remember kindergarten, maybe.
I started going to see psychologists and things because of my behavior.
I got help for behavior problems my whole life.
Dealing with the the drama of what happened to me, I I used methamphetamines and and alcohol.
Just to cope with, I guess, those feelings that I didn't know how to express.
I smoked weed when I was younger, and drank.
But the methamphetamine use started heavy probably when I was about 15.
I was a drug addict.
That's pretty much it.
Yeah, it was It was it was destruction.
I met Michelle in a motel room.
I think I was 15 years old.
I was selling her friend an ounce of weed.
And she was there with her boyfriend.
Nine months into meeting her, she was pregnant with Jerry, my my oldest son.
I wish I would have took the responsibility on and became a man at that time, but, uh, I was so wrapped up in amphetamines and the relationship with Michelle, it was off and on for years.
I had two kids with her.
But I really quit seeing her, I would say, at 17, 18 years old.
Moving to Missouri was gonna be a new start for me.
I I thought it was gonna be a a better chapter in my life.
And it didn't work out.
I met Freddy Lopez when he married my cousin here in Missouri.
Freddy rented a house and had a shop next door that he was gonna turn into a detail shop.
But it was more of a front than anything.
For the drug activity.
Freddy was a marijuana dealer at the time and he would bring back 50, 60 pounds of marijuana.
Trips back and forth to California.
I would say I was working for Freddy at first to build a clientele.
But the drug use got a hold of me again.
I told him what the methamphetamines would do, that the profit margin would be a lot more.
And it just rolled in, it just started going.
I met Michael Salazar through Freddy Lopez.
He came back here from California.
Michael was the, uh, dude that looked out for Freddy.
You know, they were both from the same gang there in California and they were tightening the ropes down on their organization.
There was a New Year's Eve party in Freddy Lopez's garage next to his house.
Just started drinking and partying and doing lines and More people showed up at the at the party and we were just partying and everybody seemed to be getting along.
I met Ronald and Brian Yates that night at Freddy Lopez's house.
Me and Brian and Ronald were sitting in the garage playing dominoes.
For some reason, they were talking about Michael and Freddy.
They were referring to them as Mexicans or wetbacks.
They called them wetbacks because of the Rio Grande, I guess, swimming across the border.
That's been a racist slang ever since I can remember.
I went outside and I met Michael.
I said, "You won't believe what these dudes are saying.
" And he went in the shop and started shooting.
Shot Brian first.
Then shot Ronald.
I was shocked.
I've never seen somebody get shot like that in my life.
Ronald didn't fall at first.
But then, after a minute or so, I seen him hit the ground.
Like, he just dropped.
He was crawling on the floor in the garage.
Michael grabbed a screwdriver and went over and started stabbing Ronald Yates.
And, uh it was just chaos.
After witnessing what I witnessed, I thought I was gonna get shot too.
I went in the house at that time and I, uh told Freddy something bad had happened.
And when he came out to the garage, he was like, "What the hell happened?" Ronald was trying to get out of the back of the garage.
And Freddy said, "Go get him.
Look what Go get him.
" Because he was opening up the back roll-up garage.
I went over there and dragged Ronald back over and kicked him.
Somebody said, "Should we call an ambulance?" I'm not sure who said it.
And I'm like, "They're dying.
" Because he was gurgling and they weren't moving.
So Freddy says, "We'll get the car and pull it in the back of the shop.
" And me and Michael loaded the two brothers into the trunk.
I was driving.
Freddy was in the passenger seat and Michael was in the back seat.
Somebody started making noise in the trunk and Freddy told me to pull over.
Freddy handed me the .
22 pistol.
And I guess I knew what I had to do.
I guess I had to get out and shoot 'em.
A silent order, I guess.
I'm not sure.
I mean, I'm not no murderer in my heart.
So I guess I was just taking an order.
I really wasn't worrying about them.
I was worrying about staying alive.
I knew I was gonna get out of that car and and and murder those two men.
And I got to the back of the trunk, and lifted the trunk lid.
I don't know if it was Ronald or Brian.
I can't I don't know.
I grabbed one of their heads and I shot.
Two shots.
And did the same thing to the other body that was in the trunk.
It was a bad feeling.
It was an empty feeling.
I should have stuck up for 'em.
I should have stuck up for the Yates brothers instead of making them victims.
I never have told anybody anything, except right now.
I've never mentioned this to nobody.
At about six o'clock in the morning, New Year's Day, I get a phone call.
Dispatch saying, "We had a double homicide.
We need your assistance.
" And I had the privilege of going there.
It was not a very pretty scene.
My name is Walter F.
I've been with the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department for 22 years.
And we are at the scene right here.
Right here is where the bodies were found.
We had two of them, facing this way.
One here and one in the grass area.
In my life, I have never been to a double homicide.
It's it's unbelievable something like that could happen.
And I've lived here 30 years.
Nothing like that.
So Hmm Scary.
But I knew this was an execution somehow.
They were shot in their eyes by a small-caliber weapon.
We turned the bodies over to check their backs and found wounds in their back.
So they were incapacitated and then brought out here and assassinated.
The detectives and the rest of them that put it all together and stuff determined it might have been gangland affiliated.
Somebody was sending a message.
When the bodies were laying here, the only way we could identify them was, a little further up here was a, uh a pair of teeth.
And they happened to be teeth that came from DOC, which is the Department of Corrections.
And it's kind of wild, because the teeth were etched inside, and and it had a DOC number on it, along with his name.
And so it was like, "Great.
Great, hey, that's a possibility.
" And that's when we found out it was Brian Yates.
Once we, uh identified the bodies, it didn't take us very long, a day or so, to link them back to Freddy Lopez.
Well, I wasn't familiar with the party, but the investigations that we did zeroed in on, uh, Freddy Lopez's house and also the little, uh, detail shop next to it.
I am Kerry Lynn Lopez.
And I am the ex-wife of Freddy Joe Lopez.
This is the Verona house in Missouri where we lived.
Where we had a New Year's Eve party, which was in the shop.
I was there that night.
We were in the house, which is next to the shop.
And Brandon came knocking on the door.
And he was, you know, belligerent and just, "Freddy, you need to come out here.
You need to come out here.
" And so that's what made me get up and run around to see what was going on.
This back door here See the crack, which you can still see, obviously? That's the one I looked under.
And I seen Ronald, I believe, was crawling away.
You know, and I knew that he was paralyzed at that point, 'cause he was trying to get away.
I heard Freddy say, "Maybe we should take him to the hospital.
" And, uh, Brandon's like, "No, no, no, no.
" I don't think that the Yates murders were planned.
I believe that the Yates brothers did owe Freddy money.
Um and it was quite a bit, but, I mean, Brandon did get in an argument that night and he got very aggressive.
He was throwing up signs to to, uh, the Yates brothers.
But I don't think it was gonna come down to where he was gonna kill 'em.
I don't think that he was planning on that.
But I you know, after the shootings in the shop, it was clear that Brandon planned after that.
He planned to do this on a back road and get rid of them.
My brother was a drug addict.
Know what I mean? He just wanted to get high.
He was put in a bad spot where he would have been killed too.
I believe my brother Brandon was a fall guy.
My name is Matthew William Hutchison.
Brandon is my brother.
And he's, uh, 14 months younger than me.
He was molested.
He was sexually abused.
Brandon didn't go into details, but there was straight up, you know, molestation.
It was a big deal.
I know that.
And that could have kept him why he stayed doing the drugs.
You know, stayed on them.
When he came out here from California, he was pretty messed up, hardcore, then.
Once it got into him, selling the harder drugs, it just was crazy.
The Yates went there to buy the drugs.
They were getting really good drugs at the time.
Freddy, he was the kingpin, like "Go get my car.
" You know, "Pull my car around.
" You know? "Go get this.
Go get that.
" You know, he he played that part.
Brandon was very fearful of, um, Freddy.
You didn't want to do him wrong or get on his bad or be around when he was too drunk either.
You know, Freddy was a was a bad, bad dude.
Brandon's a gentle giant.
But I think that he also could be easily intimidated.
When I heard about the murders, I fully believed that he was innocent.
My name is Michelle Strand.
I am the ex-wife of Brandon Hutchison.
When we were in California and I chose not to have contact with Brandon, I felt like it was the best decision at the time because of the drug use, because of the things that he was going through.
So the contact with the boys was removed until after Brandon was in Missouri.
And, unfortunately, until after he was incarcerated.
I wanted to support Brandon.
I wanted the boys to know their father.
And I felt compassion.
I never asked Brandon the details of the case.
Um, I was fully confident that that he was that he was innocent, that he was not capable of of doing something like that.
Brandon was in county jail.
I think it was before trial.
I decided to marry Brandon just simply because I loved him.
It was very quick.
Um, we actually were allowed to to hug and kiss and, um And that was about it.
I was very young.
And fully believed that everything was going to work out.
That everyone's part in that situation would be revealed.
I had a lot of faith in our justice system.
I don't think that Brandon had a fair trial.
The family didn't have the money to get the representation that he needed.
I remember the sentencing and I remember more his reaction.
Going over by the wall and turning around and just sliding down the wall in tears.
It was it was devastating.
It was devastating.
I don't sit here and resent and blame as much as I might be justified in doing so.
I just You know, a lot of bad decisions that I made in my youth, you know, led me to to where I found myself that night.
My name's Michael Anthony Salazar.
I'm the first to admit that my participation, you know, that night was messed up.
But I didn't shoot these guys in the head and I didn't kill them.
After I shot the two victims initially, from that point on, the rest of that night, I was I was just in a haze.
Know what I mean? You know, I went to Freddy, you know, to ask him what to do, you know, and whether it was Freddy or whether it was Brandon who was making the decisions for the rest of that night, every decision or every action that I made, I just wasn't thinking.
I was just, you know, trusting in him, I guess you would say.
They have a jury instruction that says that I am responsible for my conduct and the conduct of another person if I aid and assist with a common purpose.
If I helped put them in the car and helped take them out of the car with the purpose of taking them to that road and killing them, then I'm just as guilty.
But that wasn't my mind-frame that night.
I didn't have that common purpose to take them to the side of the road and kill them.
I know this much.
We're taking them out to the country to throw them on the road and somebody will help them.
That's what's in my mind, you know.
And I believe I was getting back in the car when I heard some shots.
Boom, boom, you know what I mean? Then I turned, "What the hell?" I ran to the back and this dude was, you know, throwing them out of the car.
I'm like, "What the fuck?" You know, "What's going on?" Not, "What's going on?" But like, "What the fuck?" And I I wasn't ready for all this, wasn't expecting all this.
I just wanted to go home.
I just I didn't come out here to Missouri for all this.
I grew up in California around a bunch of gangs and drugs and stuff like that, running around on the streets.
I'd never been involved in anything close to this.
I'm out here in the middle of nowhere for a couple of months.
Next thing I know, I see a couple of guys get killed.
Man, I'm gone.
I'm over this.
I'm Shit, I'll take my chances back home.
My name is Matt Selby and I am the elected prosecutor in Stone County, Missouri.
We handled a number of murder cases, and particularly the one involving Ronald and Brian Yates.
There were three people that were charged with that crime, uh, being Michael Salazar, Brandon Hutchison and Freddy Lopez.
Was justice done? Well, let's take a look at all three of them.
Michael Salazar shoots both of the Yates brothers.
That may be first-degree murder, which is defined as knowingly causing the death of another person after deliberation.
But probably more likely, second-degree murder.
But when you take what happened next they load them into the car and then take them out in the country, Brandon puts a gun up against their forehead and pulls the trigger.
There's no question, at that point, you're doing something intentionally, with deliberation, that you have reflected on for some period of time.
When you get to Freddy, we never had any evidence at all that he was in the garage when the initial shooting took place.
To what degree he may have directed the others to do something, we don't know, because he didn't say that he did it and I don't think either one of them made statements.
Freddy made a statement.
The others didn't.
The only information that we had came from Freddy.
And so there was a decision to offer him something if he cooperated.
Some sort of leniency.
Freddy whistled like a bird.
He told them everything.
You know, to get a lighter sentence.
I believe that Freddy was responsible for the Yates murders, because if Freddy wasn't transporting the drugs, listened to his wife that cared, and got a normal job, none of this would have happened.
Brandon and Michael were basically there to help Freddy.
They were more like leeches, really.
You know, like how a fly is attracted to shit.
You know? I'm sorry, but that's how it is.
When you're addicted to something, you're gonna do anything for that person because they got the goods.
They got what it is.
They know where it's at.
Here it is.
Thirty-four million.
This here is from when Freddy's family won the lottery out in California.
He was looking at 30 to life.
Then they won the lottery and they got a high high, top lawyer.
I'm trying to find his brochure.
I have it.
Here we go.
Here's Dee's brochure.
This is a high, top lawyer, man.
Dee Wampler is the lawyer that got Freddy ten years.
I mean, you gotta have money to get this lawyer.
Freddy Lopez put money in a trust fund to help raise my niece and nephew, Brian's kids.
At the time, I didn't know that he only got a short-term sentence for that.
That's something I didn't know and I wouldn't have agreed with it.
I don't believe somebody should plea bargain and pay their way out of a horrendous crime like that.
My name is Gary Len Yates.
I had five brothers.
Timmy is the only brother I have left.
Me and my stepdad went to the funeral home and identified my brothers.
And it was horrifying to see my brothers laying there on the steel table lifeless with bruises and scrapes all over their face where they'd been dragged across the floor.
And bullet holes in their eyes and in the side of their head.
It was just it's un-human.
I know Brandon did the execution.
Salazar initiated it.
I know that for sure.
And I do believe that Freddy Lopez orchestrated the rest of it to get rid of the bodies.
They're all three as guilty as the other is.
None of them should be serving a light sentence.
They should all be serving the same sentence.
They should all get the death penalty.
And they should all be carried out.
They should not even be living right now, in my eyes.
I'm grateful that he wasn't executed.
But he deserves more than life without.
My children deserve more than their father having life without.
His intentions were not to kill anyone that night um I don't believe.
After witnessing what I witnessed, I thought I was gonna get shot too.
Freddy was saying, "Should we call an ambulance?" And I'm like, "They're dying.
They're dead.
" Michael loaded the two brothers into the trunk.
I knew I was gonna get out of that car and and and murder those two men.
Freddy gave me the gun.
I popped the trunk of the car, and I don't know if it was Ronald or Brian I can't I don't know.
And I grabbed one of their heads and I shot.
Two shots.
I wish someone would have called an ambulance.
And when Freddy handed that .
22 to Brandon I really wish that Brandon would have called him out on it.
I wish that he I wish that he would have called him out on it.
That he would have handed it back to him.
I wish that he would have made a different decision.
I never gave Michelle or anybody else any full details on on the murders of the Yates brothers.
Maybe I should have told her.
You know? Instead of taking four years from her life, like I did.
And she stuck with me for three, four years.
I thought it was the right thing to do.
The people I was involved with, I thought that's what you were supposed to do.
I kept my silence out of fear for my family and my own safety.
After I shot the two victims initially, from that point on, the rest of that night, I was I was just in a haze.
You know what I mean? And, you know, I went to Freddy to ask him what to do, you know, and whether it was Freddy or whether it was Brandon, you know, who was making the decisions for the rest of that night, every decision or every action that I made, I just wasn't thinking.
I was just, you know, trusting in him, I guess you would say.
You know? Michael's a good person.
He was he was just manipulated by the wrong people too.
Does he deserve life without parole? I don't think nobody deserves life without parole.
If I've got any hard feelings towards anybody, it would be Freddy.
Lopez had millions of dollars, and I think he used his manipulation and his criminal way of thinking to get what was best for him.
I don't think any of this has hit me until the last four to five years of my life.
I've never really felt that remorse of what I've done.
As people say, "Well, yeah, I've got remorse" I've never felt the remorse of them those two men dying like they did.
And I was watching a program on TV one night.
There was this grandmother or mother that was on there talking about her daughter being murdered.
And I felt her pain.
I felt And that's all I could think about, was the Yates' the Yates' mother.
And, uh the next morning, I woke up and there was a message from you guys wanting to do a story on my case.
I just think it was the right time to tell the truth, admit to what I did.
I feel great about what I've talked about, and talked to you guys about.
I'd wish the victims' family would understand the grief that I do go through that I put them through.
I just Hopefully, they understand that I'm not the monster.
Or I wasn't out tracking down people to hurt or Something bad happened that night and it it went bad.
If you talk about regrets, I regret not saving their life, instead of taking it.
And I'm sorry to take those two two people out of you guys' life that meant so much to you.

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