A distraught father, who had to witness the gruesome death of his two young children, received an acquittal from the jury.
As reported by The Inquisitr, the jury acquitted David Barajas, who faced a murder charge in the shooting death of a 20-year-old man, Jose Banda. Majority of the jury decided that the bereaved father, who witnessed the death of his two young children, did not murder the drunken driver who killed them.
About two years ago, Banda drove his Chevrolet Malibu into the children while they pushed their father’s stalled Ford 250 truck on an unlit road near Alvin. The children, David Jr., 12, and Caleb, 11, were pushing the stalled pick-up truck back to their home when Banda, under the influence of alcohol, rammed the kids from behind and killed them on the spot.
Allegedly, in a fit of retaliatory rage, prosecutors argued, Barajas returned to his home, retrieved a pistol and fired away at Banda’s head with revenge, reported Fox News. However, they had a very tough time in convincing the jury that this is indeed what transpired which eventually led to the death of Banda.
The case simply couldn’t be built against the father since police failed to produce a murder weapon linked to the killing. Forensic investigators even conducted gunpowder residue tests on Barajas’ handsf but surprisingly, these too turned out negative. No witnesses could be produced in the court, who had seen Barajas killing Banda on that dark December night, reported The Chron.
Though Barajas’ attorneys could not identify who else could have killed Banda, it wasn’t their job to do so. They successfully managed to create enough ambiguity in the hearts and minds of the jury that effectively pushed a conviction out of reach. The fact that Banda had a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit only helped Barajas’ attorneys win sympathy from an already inclined jury.
In the end, though the jury acquitted the father, there was a lot of bitter emotion in the courtroom. While trying to maintain his composure, Barajas said,
“I am still bitter about the loss of my children and the trial, but not at the Banda family. They lost a son, too. This was a loss for everybody. This wasn’t a winning situation for none of us”
Speaking about the case, Brazoria County District
“I believe prosecutors had a fair chance to convince a fair jury. The system worked, regardless of whether the government met their burden of proof. The state would never present a case against an individual who we did not believe committed a crime. So good people can agree to disagree.”
Why did the state push the case with no concrete evidence to convict Barajas? “We knew going in that a circumstantial evidence case was tough. We know the emotion attached to it. We’re all human,” was all Yenne managed to say.
[Image Credit | Billy Smith II, Thomas B. Shea/ The Chronicle]