Tuesday, August 19, 2014

My Guess: Not Guilty

From the LVRJ: A drunk driver did not deserve “execution” by a Texas father accused of taking the law into his own hands in a fit of rage over the killing of his two sons in a wreck, a prosecutor told jurors on Tuesday.
David Barajas is accused of fatally shooting Jose Banda in December 2012, minutes after Banda plowed into a pickup truck that Barajas and his two sons had been pushing on a rural road. Twelve-year-old David Jr. died at the scene and 11-year-old Caleb died at a hospital. Barajas’ truck had run out of gas about 100 yards from the family’s home.
Barajas’ attorney told jurors his client did not kill Banda and was focused only on saving his sons.
In opening statements Tuesday in Barajas’ murder trial, prosecutor Brian Hrach told jurors Banda made a horrible decision by drinking and driving,
“He deserved severe legal punishment, but he did not deserve a public execution,” Hrach said.
Barajas allegedly left the scene of the accident, retrieved a gun from his home and returned to kill Banda.
Sam Cammack, Barajas’ attorney, told jurors Barajas never left the crash site. Cammack portrayed Barajas as a father who was desperate to help his sons and was covered with their blood after he tried to perform CPR on the boys.
“When police get there my client is doing what he was doing the whole time, trying to save his children’s lives,” Cammack said.
Dashcam video of the crash scene played for jurors Tuesday after testimony had begun brought many in the courtroom to tears. Barajas kept his head down as the video was played.
On the video, Barajas can be seen kneeling on the ground near a roadside ditch where the body of his son David Jr. had landed. A woman can be heard screaming, “My babies. Why? Oh my God, please help them.” David Barajas’ wife, Cindy, and their infant son and 8-year-old daughter had also been in the truck. They were not seriously hurt.
Legal experts said the case will be difficult to prosecute given the lack of hard evidence: no weapon was recovered, no witnesses identified Barajas as the shooter and gunshot residue tests done on Barajas came back negative.
An even greater challenge for prosecutors could be overcoming sympathy for the father. Many people in the town of Alvin where the tragedy occurred, 30 miles southeast of Houston, have supported Barajas. Some have said they might have done the same thing in a similar situation. The trial is in the county seat of Angleton, Texas.  http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/nation-and-world/texas-dad-accused-executing-drunk-driver-after-fatal-wreck
This case should never have been brought to trial.  Even if he did it, I think it was justifiable, in the heat of the moment, if the guy even did it.
For those who have kids, if you see your kids killed in front of your eyes by a drunk driver, are you just supposed to say, "oh let the cops and attorneys take care of it?"  Most fathers, if they could would off the thug that just killed your kids in front of you and I don't blame them.
And since this is in the conservative part of Texas, this case will be a slam dunk not guilty verdict.

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