But back to Perez. He led a prison gang and, authorities said, ordered more than a dozen killings in San Antonio during the 1990s. Especially heinous was the 1997 slayings of five people -- the West French Place killings. Perez didn't pull a trigger, but he was general of the Mexican Mafia, according to prosecutors.
A bad man, sure. But he had his charms. The Associated Press reports:
Jeff Mulliner, who was an assistant Bexar County district attorney who also helped prosecute Perez, said Perez was "someone who did bad things and has a whole dimensional shading to his character." But Mulliner, now in private practice, also found Perez to have "an abundance of charisma, a keen intellect, a sharp wit and a sense of humor."
"I kind of appreciated all those things about him," Mulliner said. "Other than French Place, which is a footnote, I believe part of the honor of Robert Perez is he was not dangerous to an elderly lady trying to cross the street or to a young man on the bus to work. I think the only people in danger from Robert Perez were people he was associated with that didn't follow the rules."