Texas Father Acquitted of Murdering Drunk Driver Who Killed His Two Sons
The father of two boys killed in a drunk-driving car accident was acquitted of killing the man behind the wheel in Texas court Wednesday. 32-year-old David Barajas was found not guilty by a jury in Angleton court.
The prosecution tried to prove that Barajas shot and killed Jose Banda, 20, but were unsuccessful. There was little physical evidence linking Barajas to the murder. There was also a lot of sympathy for Barajas, who had lost his 11- and 12-year-old sons, Caleb and David Jr., in the car crash.
When the jury announced the verdict, Barajas broke down crying. He was facing a possible life sentence if convicted.
The car accident that took his sons' lived happened in December 2012, when the father and two boys had gotten out of their truck when it broke down several yards away from the Barajas home. While they were trying to push the vehicle to the house, Banda allegedly careened into them.
Prosecutors said that David Sr. then went into his home and allegedly returned with a gun to shoot Banda.
Barajas' defense attorney Sam Cammack said Barajas was innocent and never even owned a gun. Gunshot residue was never found from tests performed on Barajas. Cammack added that Banda's cousin or half-brother were more likely to be responsible, as they witnessed the crash and later fled the scene. Both claimed they were innocent.
The weapon used in the crime was never found and there were no witnesses presented in court who saw Barajas shoot Bandas. During questioning, witnesses even said that there was additional gunfire after Banda had been shot, adding to the theory that the real shooter was not apprehended.
The only damning evidence leading prosecutors to suspect Barajas was forensic analysis of blood from Barajas found in Banda's car.
"I am relieved but still in pain," Barajas said during a news conference after his acquittal. "My two boys are dead and nothing will bring them back."
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