A 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. "It's been a lot of weight lifted but I'm still very hurt."
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. But investigators never recovered a gun and didn't have an eyewitness to the shooting. Barajas’ attorney, Sam Cammack, said his client’s only focus the night of the crash was trying to save his sons’ lives and that someone else killed Banda.
The prosecutor Jeri Yenne said she had no regrets about bringing charges. "We believe that Mr. Barajas committed the crime and we also know the jury did not believe that beyond a reasonable doubt. We respect that," she said.
— Erik Ortiz and Tracy Connor
First published August 27 2014, 10:54 AM