The trial began Tuesday for a Southeast Texas father accused of killing a drunken driver in a fit of rage after his two sons were fatally struck on a rural road.
David Barajas was charged with murder in the shooting death of 20-year-old Jose Banda Jr.
Authorities say Barajas fatally shot Banda after the December 2012 accident near Alvin, about 30 miles southeast of Houston. The accident claimed the lives of 12-year-old David Jr. and 11-year-old Caleb.
Barajas has been out on bond and walked into the courtroom with his attorneys to face trial.
The courtroom was filled with so many people Tuesday morning, family members from both sides, who all lost a loved one that night.
There were so many people present that the judge had to ask some of the defendant’s supporters to leave in order to make room for the victim’s family.
During opening statements, prosecutors told the jury that the evidence will show Barajas was seen confronting Banda right after the accident that killed his two sons, and that witnesses saw him approaching the victim’s vehicle right before they heard a bang.
Among those witnesses were two teenage boys, both 16 years old at the time, who called 911.
The fatal crash happened as Barajas’ children helped him push his disabled truck down the road. The family was only about 100 yards away from home when Banda’s vehicle struck them from behind. Banda was drunk.
The prosecutor told the jury that Banda did a stupid thing and made a stupid decision to drink and drive, but he did not deserve a public execution.
The defense told the jury that Barajas didn’t leave the scene of the accident and when police arrived, he was doing what he had been doing from the start; trying to save his children’s lives.
They say the evidence will show that he was tested for gun residue at the scene, and those tests came back negative. They also say the evidence will show that someone else’s blood was found at the scene, and that Barajas never had or used a gun.
Local 2's Amanda Perez is following this story throughout the day. Follow her on Twitter for LIVE courtroom udpates.