La Prensa América presents:

Hank Rhon saga Part II


By Mariana Martinez

    The black Maserati seemed on a quest to reunite with his owner.

    He followed his saga all Tuesday long and didn’t rest until he was back at his mansion by the Caliente Race Track.

    All night long the black Maserati was parked in the dusty road leading to Hongo State Prison, where groups of followers waited for his release around campfires to fight of the cold wind.

    His lawyers and journalists had to walk to the prison doors because police didn’t let their cars go through.

    Hank’s top lawyer, Fernando Benitez said the case against his client was weak from the start and got personal with a reporter who was asking for the facts.

    “Did you see the guns they say are my client’s?” he asked.

    “It is an old useless riffle old enough to be in a museum, is that the government’s case? Is that all they got? The expense of judging my client, the time spent on testimony, the circus raised…is that the message they are sending to Mexican people? Frankly I’m disappointed, I was expecting more of a fight….” he joked.

    At 3:20 in the morning the judge ordered Hank to be freed, but he would not ride his Maserati back to town because he was released from federal custody and then detained by state police.

    He was on board a military convoy and taken to an Investigation Office in Playas de Tijuana, where he was questioned by state investigators for at least two hours.

    The politician, millionaire, eccentric owner of a racetrack and a private zoo was being questioned not in regards to the 88 weapons allegedly found in his home on June 4; he was not being questioned about two murder weapons allegedly found amongst them.

    Hank was questioned in regards of a different murder, and state prosecutors filed a motion for a judge to sign a proper arrest warrant.

    Outside, a few dozen men parked their cars defiantly in front of police and military cars and had a scrimmage with state police under the surveillance of sleep deprived reporters, begging for caffeine in any shape or form.

    The Maserati was there too, but he and his owner would not meet there either, as he was escorted at full speed and sent to await his arrest warrant at a local motel, used by police prosecutors as provisional holding cells.

    2:00 pm came and the State Prosecutor had a press conference to talk about the murder Hank was being connected to: the shooting of a 24 year old woman, named Angélica María, who was the girlfriend of one of his sons, Sergio Hank Krauss.

    The murder happened August 13 2009 and according to Hank Krauss, the couple had been at a party and he took her to her apartment around midnight. He was heading home when he got a call from her, telling him about a group of men who were at her door.

    The couple didn’t live together but they had a baby girl who was 11 months old at the time of the murder.

    He said he found her wounded and drove her to a private hospital where she latter died.

    Neither Hank Krauss nor his bodyguards called the police and after the fact, he had his car and clothes washed. Police didn’t find a single bullet shell at the crime scene.

    The young woman had been married to a cop, who got word of the murder and volunteered to take a test to prove he did not fire a weapon on the day of her attack.

    Hank Krauss was never charged.

    The State Prosecutor claims to have the murderer in custody and have a signed confession claiming he did it under Hank Rhon’s direct orders.

    Almost simultaneous to the press conference, the judge ruled against the arrest warrant claiming there are no grounds to accuse the millionaire of murder.

    For the second time in under 24 hours, Hank, —Tijuana’s richest man—, was ordered to be released from custody and then, finally, he boarded his black Maserati and drove to the racetrack grounds to meet his wife Maria Elvia who is fighting cancer.

    After sundown, supporters trickled into Racetrack grounds and filled the parking lot with joy over his release after 11 days in custody. They screamed and partied as they had done before, to ask for his release.

    The day after the storm came the finger-pointing and speculation that have not stopped since then: PAN and PRI parties parting on the side, Hank being used as leverage; how his sloppy detention and week case ridiculed the army, the President, the state prosecutor…          But, how is Hank? Just a day after his release, he put on a green shirt, —the official Mexico soccer team uniform—and attended the game, with his shaggy salt-and-pepper beard surrounding his immense white smile… once again.

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