Netflix’s ‘I Am A Killer: Honorable Intentions’ traces the story of Esequiel Fonseca, who was found shot in his car on the Texas 8 Beltway while returning home from work in December 1996. His wallet was missing, and the police initially thought it to be a robbery. However, after some chance arrests and a lot of meticulous footwork, it was found to be premeditated murder. If you are interested to learn more about the case details, as well as the identity and current whereabouts of the perpetrator, then we’ve you covered. Let’s dive into the case then, shall we?
How Did Esequiel Fonseca Die?
At the time of the incident, Esequiel “Big Zeke” Fonseca used to work in Crown Cork and Seal, now known as Crown Holdings, Inc., in the Texan city of Sugar Land. He was married to Carmen Cantu Fonseca for 25 years, and the couple used to live in Sagemont, Houston. They had four children, one of whom was Esqeuiel “Little Zeke” Fonseca, Jr. Though the Fonsecas looked like a typical American family, a tragedy was just lurking in the corner.
On December 22, 1996, a group of construction crew was working on the Texas 8 Beltway when they stumbled on a white Lincoln against the concrete barrier on the side of the road. One of the workers, Johnny Mendoza, noticed an individual slumped over the steering wheel and called the paramedics. The respondents arrived at the scene to declare him dead, and the police were informed. The victim was identified as Big Zeke. He was shot 7 times in the head, torso, and neck, and his wallet was missing. The police also found 9mm bullet casings at the scene.
Who Killed Esequiel Fonseca?
While the police were at the crime scene, Carmen Fonseca also appeared there. She claimed that she had no idea about the homicide and was concerned when her husband did not return home last night. Upon getting a call from his colleague in the morning regarding Big Zeke not reporting to work, she decided to retrace the route her husband used to take while driving home from work. Carmen added that she saw her husband’s car and police at the crime scene and decided to stop by. She even voluntarily went to the station to give a statement.
The investigators began to probe into the case, determining that Big Zeke was shot while his car was in motion. However, they did not have to look for a suspect for long. On December 23, 1996, an Angleton officer tried to book a blue Cadillac for a traffic violation and chased it for 10 blocks, only to find the car empty. The driver had fled, but the officer found 13 rounds of 9mm ammunition inside. It was a stolen car, with the owner filing a report on December 20, 1996.
Three days later, another Angleton officer booked a 1993 Saturn on grounds of violating traffic rules. This car was reported stolen too, and the officer arrested a teen named Mark Sam Arthur for driving. The officer also found a fully loaded Glock 9mm handgun inside the car. Ballistic reports showed that the casing from this gun was similar to the ones found at the murder scene of Big Zeke, and Mark was charged with his murder.
Slowly, the threads began to untangle as the investigators discovered a connection between Mark and Carmen. Mark was a member of the Maniac Latin Disciple Nation, a Houston street gang of which Little Zeke was also a member. Both of them used to commit robberies, and when Little Zeke was arrested, Mark became a regular visitor at the Fonseca residence. As per the court documents, Mark had an affair with Carmen, which allegedly resulted in her getting pregnant (she later miscarried). The authorities believed Mark killed Big Zeke to take his position in the Fonseca family.
On the other hand, Mark stated that he saw his sister getting abused while growing up, and he had pathological hate for abusers. He further claimed that he noticed Carmen allegedly getting abused by her husband, which provoked him to beat up Big Zeke, who threatened to retaliate. Hence, Mark said he decided to kill him as a way of self-defense against Big Zeke’s supposed threat. Other theories alleged that Carmen had hired Mark and his accomplice, Mason Hughes, aged 16, to kill her husband for $220,000 life insurance money.
Where is Mark Arthur Today?
Mark Arthur had also confessed to the police that he had returned to the crime scene later to steal the victim’s wallet, which constituted only $23. He said he found Big Zeke wincing and shot him a few more times. As a result, whatever the true motive might have been, Mark was convicted by a Harris County jury on the charges of aggravated robbery and capital murder. He received the death sentence on February 11, 1998. Carmen was also sentenced to life imprisonment on April 3, 1998.
However, Mark was spared from the lethal injection when his death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in 2005 on grounds of his young age. As per official court records, he is presently incarcerated in a prison cell at the William P. “Bill” Clements Unit in Amarillo, Texas. Mark will be eligible for parole on December 17, 2037, as per his inmate records. Carmen was also sentenced to li