Patterico's Pontifications

8/27/2014

Texas: Father Tried for Murder of Drunk Driver Who Killed His Sons; UPDATE: Acquitted

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:31 am

Sounds like they don’t have much in the way of evidence:

The attorney for a Texas father accused of fatally shooting a drunken driver who caused an accident that killed his two sons argued with investigators Monday that none of the evidence they have presented at trial directly links his client to the murder.

. . . .

Dominick Sanders, the lead investigator with the Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office, told jurors that the search of Barajas’ home failed to find any evidence “that made a direct link from (Barajas) to the crime scene.”

Later, Cammack asked Sanders if he could tell jurors who shot Banda. Sanders said he didn’t have any direct knowledge on who did it.

“What in the heck are we doing here?” Cammack said.

They’re in trial?

I’m always suspicious of stories about criminal cases, since they sometimes don’t tell the whole story. If there’s evidence that makes the father an aider and abettor, police don’t need to show he’s the shooter, of course. But this doesn’t sound like an aiding and abetting case. The investigator can’t say who’s guilty, yet somehow the guy is on trial anyway? That’s not how it’s supposed to work. It sounds like they’re trying the guy on suspicion alone: he had motive, there is evidence he once had a gun, and the hard drive is missing from his home security system.*

If motive, means, and a missing hard drive are enough to charge someone with a crime, slap the cuffs on Lois Lerner, baby.

UPDATE: So here was my comment at 7:50 a.m. today:

“Texas justice” will be the jury’s verdict. Unless this story is misleading, it will be an acquittal.

And later on today?

The jury has acquitted David Barajas of murder in the fatal shooting of a drunken driver who had just caused an accident that killed the man’s two sons.

Always trust content from Patterico.

23 Responses to “Texas: Father Tried for Murder of Drunk Driver Who Killed His Sons; UPDATE: Acquitted”

  1. *Their best evidence may be a bullet fragment in his car, which (reading between the lines) might be from the same caliber of gun that killed the victim — but then again, might not. So that kind of seems like a wash.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. I don’t know how to do footnotes in a post like Popehat does, so this asterisk trick is the best I can do.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  3. Texas justice makes a pikachu so very very proud

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  4. “Texas justice” will be the jury’s verdict. Unless this story is misleading, it will be an acquittal.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  5. that’s where I’d put my money for sure

    also on the conjecture that the people who brought the case won’t be held accountable for their poor judgement

    accountability isn’t really an America thing no mores

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  6. So what amusing, given the fact that in Texas, one used to be able to drive with an open container in your hand, and a gun on the seat right next to you.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  7. Somewhat

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  8. Patterico: Their best evidence may be a bullet fragment in his car, which (reading between the lines) might be from the same caliber of gun that killed the victim — but then again, might not. So that kind of seems like a wash.

    No, the bullet fragment was found in the car of the murder victim, Jose Banda. (do we not know the caliber of the bullets that killed him? Was he buried without a bullet being extracted?)

    The bullet fragment could also have been from a 9mm handgun or a .38 caliber weapon.

    The best evidence, or indication pointing to guilt is that:

    1) The murder happened within minutes after the murder victim plowed into a vehicle being pushed by the accused murderer, David Barajas, and his two pre-teen age sons.

    2) Nobody else would seem to have a motive, especially right then and there. Present at the time of the crash also were Banda’s cousin or his half brother, both of whom testified they ran
    away (from an angry Barajas?) and didn’t see the murder, nor did they kill him themselves

    3) A search of the defendant’s mobile home found an empty gun holster and a box of ammunition for a .357 caliber handgun, but no gun – consistent with a gun, but not its holster, being thrown away after a murder. (although consistent with half a dozen other scenarios)

    Barajas would not have anticipated that no ballistics tests would be done, so he might have felt it necessary to hrow away the gun, but didn’t think its holster would mean anything.

    4) The hard drive of the security cameras outside of Barajas’ home (is this something not belonging to him?) was missing, consistent with an attempt to remove evidence of Barajas going into or out of house, possibly with a gun visible.

    Sammy Finkelman (7d0d47)

  9. Jury nullification is a real possibility in any case.

    Sammy Finkelman (7d0d47)

  10. This has been a bad month for the administration of justice in the Lone Star State. Pity.

    ThOR (130453)

  11. Wanna bet a confession and/or other evidence was suppressed for Fifth and/or Fourth violations with an admonition not to even breathe about it at trial?

    nk (dbc370)

  12. “…within minutes after the murder victim plowed into a vehicle being pushed by the accused murderer, David Barajas, and his two pre-teen age sons.”

    Second degree, at best – if they can prove it, which it doesn’t sound like they can.

    mojo (4a927a)

  13. This trial is taking place in my town.
    Testimony by the company who installed and serviced the security system was that they had removed the hard drive some time ago. The bullet fragment was consistent in diameter to .357, .38 and 9mm, which are all virtually the same. Banda, the driver who hit and killed the kids, was found in the passenger seat of his car and his relatives, who admitted to also being intoxicted, were allegedly following in another car and left the scene. It was a chaotic and horrifying scene in the middle of the night involving lots of people, many of whom left the scene. From all the published testimony, I don’t think the jury has heard enough evidence to convict Barajas.

    Jim (c3fc83)

  14. I just watched two lawyers on Fox discuss this case without onec mentionion g that thyere was no direct evidence.

    Davod (4cc250)

  15. Breaking on FOX:

    Acquitted

    Sam (e8f1ad)

  16. Good.

    machinist (313c6a)

  17. The not guilty verdict is good for the father. He can never be tried again, even if more evidence is found.

    slp (347e33)

  18. UPDATE: So here was my comment at 7:50 a.m. today:

    “Texas justice” will be the jury’s verdict. Unless this story is misleading, it will be an acquittal.

    And later on today?

    The jury has acquitted David Barajas of murder in the fatal shooting of a drunken driver who had just caused an accident that killed the man’s two sons.

    Always trust content from Patterico.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  19. Although, to be sure, this prediction was not rocket science.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  20. 13. Do we know what kind of bullets killed Joe Banda or was he killed by bullets? Why all this talk about the bullet fragments?

    I think you couild do neutron activation analysis of the isotopes of the bullets and determine if the bullets in Banda’s car match the bullets Barajas owned.

    Did Barajas know his two sons were killed?

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  21. I understand from reading about this case that there was no GSR on Barajas’ clothes or body. If Barajas had fired a revolver even once, would there not have been residue on his hands, clothes, and face? I used to own one and that stuff got all over me every time I fired it.

    Brian Epps (@Random_Numbers) (2f898a)

  22. Maybe the guy had been shot prior to the accident, maybe that contributed. And then he died.

    kimsch (1c0f2d)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.1704 secs.