Tag Archives: Cindy Barajas

David Barajas | Witnessess recount gunshot sounds after fatal DWI crash

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ANGLETON – Three people who came upon a crash scene in Brazoria County where two children were killed by a drunken driver say they heard gunfire moments later.

None of them, though, say they saw anyone at the scene with a gun.

They testified Thursday inside a packed courtroom during the trial of David Barajas, who is charged with murder in the shooting death of 20-year-old Jose Banda in December 2012. Barajas’ two boys, 11-year-old Caleb and 12-year-old David Jr., were killed when Banda rear-ended their father’s truck.

Shortly after the crash, 911 operators received calls about gunshots fired, and authorities later found Banda slain in the front seat of his Chevrolet Malibu.

Later Thursday, Barajas’ attorney, Sam Cammack, would try to place another man in the Malibu with Banda.

Two of the witnesses, William Taylor Duncan, 17, and Landon Lain, 18, testified they saw the crash while driving home together that night. They pulled over when flagged down for help by a man saying his son had been hit.

“(He said) ‘Call the police, my kid has been hit, make sure they don’t leave,'” Duncan told jurors. He said he believed the man was referring to any occupants in the Malibu.

Lain said he then drove his vehicle in between Barajas’ Ford 250 truck and Banda’s car before the teens got out.

On a 911 recording of call from Lain, he can be heard telling a dispatcher he heard a gunshot before the line disconnects.

Duncan told jurors he stood a few feet in front of Banda’s car. Lain said he was also in front of Banda’s car.

Each teen told jurors the man who flagged them down, asking them to help his children, was not at the crash site for about three minutes. They say he later returned and approached the Malibu.

The teens testified they later heard a gunshot, but neither say they saw anyone with a weapon.

The teens said they got scared after hearing the shots and left the scene. They returned later that night with Lain’s father.

Another witness who came upon the crash was Tammy Archuleta, a cafeteria cook at the same school attended by the Barajas siblings.

She was on her way home when she came upon the wreck. Archuleta saw a man, who appeared angry. However, she could not identity him as Barajas.

Archuleta also told jurors she heard gunfire minutes after she arrived, but her back was to the crash site and she did not see anyone with a weapon.

Prosecutors also called Steven Wilson, a cousin of Banda. Wilson told jurors he had been drinking with Banda and another cousin, Gerardo Tellez, and Banda’s half-brother, Antonio Rodriguez, before the crash.

Source : http://www.chron.com/

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Witnesses back father’s claims that he didn’t kill drunken driver

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ANGLETON, Texas — A Texas father’s claims he did not fatally shoot a drunken driver who caused an accident that killed his two sons seemed to be bolstered Wednesday by testimony from prosecution witnesses.

Two of the witnesses — a current deputy and a former one — told jurors they failed to note in reports that more gunfire had taken place well after the driver was shot. A third witness, a cousin of the motorist, gave contradictory testimony about whether David Barajas had hit Jose Banda before allegedly shooting him.

Barajas, 32, is accused of fatally shooting the 20-year-old Banda in December 2012 near Alvin minutes after Banda plowed into a vehicle that Barajas and his two sons had been pushing on a rural road. Twelve-year-old David Jr. and 11-year-old Caleb were killed. Barajas’ truck had run out of gas about 100 yards from the family’s home.

Barajas’ attorney, Sam Cammack, has told jurors his client did not kill Banda and was focused only on saving his sons.

A current deputy with the Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office and a former deputy with the department told jurors they failed to note in reports that they had heard more gunfire after arriving at the crash site.

Ex-deputy Lloyd Anderson, who told jurors he was fired for not including more details in his reports, said he probably did inform an investigator about the gunfire.

When Cammack asked another deputy, Jason Knopp, why he failed to include the gunfire detail in his report, Knopp said, “No answer for it, sir.”

Cammack has focused his efforts at Barajas’ trial, which began Tuesday, on suggesting to jurors that authorities unfairly zeroed in on a grieving father as the killer without fully investigating other possible suspects. Cammack has suggested Banda could have been shot by several other people who witnesses say fled the crash site.

Anderson said a search the night of the accident failed to find any individuals who had reportedly fled the scene.

Gerardo Tellez, Banda’s cousin, testified that he and Banda had become intoxicated on Jagermeister and possibly beer on the day of the accident. Tellez said he followed Banda home and witnessed his cousin slam into Barajas’ truck.

Tellez said he fled after seeing the “body parts” of the boys on the road. He said before leaving he saw Barajas approach Banda’s vehicle and start punching Banda through the driver’s side window.

Cammack later showed jurors a crime scene photo of Banda’s car and the driver’s side window was up.

“You’re going to stick with that even though we saw (the photo with the window up)?” Cammack asked Tellez.

“Yes,” Tellez replied.

Legal experts have said the case could be difficult to prosecute given the lack of hard evidence: no weapon was recovered, no witnesses identified Barajas as the shooter and gunshot residue tests done on Barajas came back negative. If convicted, Barajas faces up to life in prison.

An even greater challenge for prosecutors could be overcoming sympathy for Barajas. Many residents in Alvin, 30 miles southeast of Houston, have supported Barajas. Some have said they might have done the same thing in a similar situation.

Despite no murder weapon, prosecutors have said they have other evidence, including ammunition found at Barajas’ home that they say is similar to a bullet fragment found in Banda’s car. Cammack says police found a shell casing for a different weapon, a 9mm handgun, at the scene and that Barajas couldn’t have had enough time to retrieve a gun from his home and shoot Banda before authorities arrived.

During ex-deputy Anderson’s testimony, dash-camera video from his patrol vehicle of the crash site was played for jurors. In the video, Cindy Barajas, the boys’ mother, can be heard screaming, “No, not my babies.”

Source : http://www.lasvegassun.com/