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/