Texas Jury Acquits Dad Who Shot Drunken Driver Who Killed 2 Sons
Jose Banda, 20, had driven his vehicle into 12-year-old David Jr. and 11-year-old Caleb as they pushed their father’s broken-down car as he steered on a dark country road. Banda had twice the legal limit of alcohol in his system at the time. 32-year-old David Barajas was accused of shooting Banda in a fit of rage during the incident in December 2012, after Banda was found dead in his car with single bullet to his head.
While prosecutors at Brazoria County Courthouse argued that Barajas had walked to his home 100 yards away to pick up a .357-calibre pistol, before returning to kill Bandas, they could only produce circumstantial evidence to support their case, AP reported. Investigators concluded that a bullet fragment found in Banda’s car may have come from a .357-calbire gun like Barajas’, but the father’s lawyer argued the ammunition could have simply been from a different firearm.
A forensic scientist testified that blood found on the driver’s side door and driver’s arm rest of Banda’s car was consistent with that of Barajas. But Barajas’ defence attorney, Sam Cammack, said the father was not guilty as he was focusing on attempting to save his sons. A video shot using a camera attached to a police car dashboard showed Barajas performing CPR on Caleb, as his wife cried out for help.
Cammack also cited emergency call to suggest that Barajas would not have had enough time to shoot Banda. Supporting the argument that the real killer was at large, prosecution witnesses said they heard more gunfire long after Banda was shot.
Outside the courtroom, a relieved Barajas told reporters: “A lot of weight’s been lifted off my back.”
He added that he was still bitter about the death of his sons, but added he prayed that Banda’s killer was found. “[Banda's family] lost a son, too. This was a loss for everybody,” he said. “This wasn’t a winning situation for none of us.” Banda’s family made no statement.
The saddest part is while Barajas should have been left alone to mourn for the loss of his son’s, he’s had to brave the barrage of attacks and accusations made upon him. What a great example of humility and forgiveness.
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