Murder

Acquitted: Texas Man Accused of Revenge-Killing His Sons' Killer

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Texas father was found not guilty Wednesday of gunning down the man who killed his young sons in a drunken-driving accident. It took the jury three hours to acquit David Barajas, who was charged in the shooting death of 20-year-old Jose Banda Jr. in December 2012. "I thank God. This has been hard on me and my family," Barajas told reporters after the verdict, according to the Associated Press.

An intoxicated Banda struck Barajas and his two children while they pushed the family's disabled truck down a road, just 50 yards away from their home in Alvin, south of Houston. Barajas' children — David, 12, and Caleb, 11 — were killed. Amid the chaos, authorities charged, Barajas went home, retrieved a gun and went back to the wreckage to shoot Banda in the head.

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  1. Be warned: in Texas “he needed killin” is a valid defense.

  2. Yeah, really can’t blame the guy. If there ever was a valid case of temporary insanity as an excuse for murder this would be it.

    1. This wasn’t a case of “temporary insanity”, this was a case of jury nullification. He did it, and everyone knows he did it. A drunk driver killed his kids, and he did what needed to be done. The prosecution needed to make a half-assed attempt to enforce the law, and the jury squashed it. It’s Texas, where the Department of Public Safety mounts SIX M240 belt-fed machine guns on a 47 foot fishing boat to patrol it’s waterways. It’s Texas, where anyone on your curtilage after dark can be shot simply for being where they don’t belong. They give public service awards for killing people who need killing. If I were ever to move again, I’d move back to Texas.

      1. Jury nullification would be if the government could actually prove he broke the law, and the jury decided the law was unjust, or improper in some other way.

        What actually happened is that there simply wasn’t enough evidence that he actually did it; as in no weapon was ever found and no eye witnesses. Much less complicated than jury nullification.

        That’s not to say some (or maybe even all) on the jury believed he did it but didn’t want to prosecute. However, the story is clear that there wasn’t a whole lot of evidence. The prosecutor could’ve just said “we’re still trying to find enough evidence to take this to trial” instead of wasting money on an actual trial.

        1. That’s what was reported – no evidence (weapon never found) or witnesses. Ergo, he was acquitted.

        2. He had opportunity and motive, and people have been convicted without a shred of physical evidence before.

  3. Glad I wasn’t on that jury. I’d hate to decide either way.

  4. The state shouldn’t have a monopoly on retributive violence. This is how capital punishment should work.

    1. Ditto.

      It’s also how “the Law” (Genesis through Deuteronomy) describes it should be done.

  5. Interesting. The father deinied killing the SOB, no gun was recovered and there were no witnesses. His defense was “I didn’t do it” and the government failed to prove its case. Kudos to the jury.

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