David Barajas Trial: Grieving Dad Accused Of Murdering Drunk Driver Who Killed His Children

The David Barajas trial has begun, with the father accused of murdering a 20-year-old drunk driver named Jose Banda who hit and killed Barajas’ two sons.

In a related report by The Inquisitr, Barajas was charged with shooting Banda in February of 2013. This is how the drunk driving car accident occurred:

“Barajas and his two sons age 11 and 12, were standing in the street in front of their home on December 7 when Banda hit them with his car. According to witnesses, Banda did not slow down and hit the boys at a high rate of speed. Twelve-year-old David Jr. was pronounced dead at the scene. His 11-year-old brother died shortly after arriving at the hospital.”

After the two boys were hit by the car, it’s claimed the grieving father returned to his home, retrieved a gun, and then shot the drunk driver in the head. At the time, Barajas claimed his memories of the incident were a “blur” and police did not indict the father until two months after the accident. The grand jury determined that the incident was not a crime of passion since it’s claimed Barajas was thinking clearly enough to find the gun. If Barajas is convicted of murder, the man faces life in prison.

Experts are saying it will be very difficult to prosecute Barajas based upon the lack of evidence. For example, Houston criminal defense attorney Grant Scheiner would not speculate on who actually shot Banda but insists prosecutors will have a tough time with the Barajas case:

“The prosecutor is starting from behind the eight ball. Mr. Banda lost his life out there at the scene that night, somehow. That is not a good thing. But to suggest Mr. Barajas has anything to do with it is a far stretch of the imagination.”

The defense attorney started the David Barajas trial by saying that the grieving father was a good man and not a murderer. Police never recovered a murder weapon, Barajas didn’t even own a gun, and Barajas also tested negative for gunshot residue tests. At the same time, a police search of Barajas’ home recovered ammunition of the same type as the bullet that killed Banda. No witness has identified Barajas as the shooter, although the defense has also not suggested would else might be responsible for the shooting death of Jose Banda. Witnesses do say they saw a man opening fire on Banda, but not could identify Barajas as that man.

It’s claimed the community is sympathetic to Barajas’ plight and would have taken the law into their hands if a drunk driver killed their children. Felicia Leija, Banda’s common-law wife, says her husband’s fate should have been decided by the U.S. justice system, not by anyone else:

“What (Barajas) did wasn’t right. For other people to say they would have done the same thing… you don’t know what you would have done.”

The jury will be the determining factor in the David Barajas trial. For example, another case involved a father who fatally beat to death a child molester who was sexually assaulting his five year old daughter. In that case, jurors decided to not charge the father, and it’s possible the perceived moral circumstances of a drunk driver killing children may persuade this jury to do the same.