Father Cleared of|Killing Drunken Driver

     (CN) – A Texas jury acquitted a father Wednesday of murdering a drunken driver who killed his two sons in a collision.
     David Barajas, 32, hugged his wife, Cindy, and cried after the not guilty verdict was read, The Associated Press reported. Barajas faced up to life in state prison.
     Brazoria County prosecutors claimed an enraged Barajas shot and killed Jose Banda, 20, after Banda’s car struck Barajas, David Barajas Jr., 12, and Caleb Barajas, 11, as they were pushing a truck down the road.
     There was little to no evidence linking Barajas to the shooting – the murder weapon was never found. Prosecutors claimed that Barajas went to his home 100 yards from the crash site to get his gun and returned to shoot Banda.
     During trial, a forensic scientist testified that blood found on the driver’s side door and armrest of Banda’s car was consistent with that of Barajas. Police investigators testified that bullet fragments in Banda’s car could have come from a .357-caliber gun – the same kind of ammunition later found in Barajas’ home.
     The defense claimed that Barajas had never owned a gun and that tests showed the bullets could have come from another caliber weapon.
     The defense also argued that Banda could have been shot by two of his relatives who witnessed the crash. Both men told investigators they fled, and testified that they did not shoot Banda.
     Barajas told reporters outside of the courtroom in Angleton that the acquittal “has been a lot of weight lifted” but that he is “still hurt, very hurt” about the death of his sons.
     Brazoria County District Attorney Jeri Yenne defended her office’s decision to pursue murder charges, reaffirming her belief that Barajas committed the crime.
     “We also know that the jury did not believe that beyond a reasonable doubt,” she said. “We respect that.”
     Angleton, in Brazoria County, is south of Houston.

%d bloggers like this: