David Barajas has been acquitted of shooting the man who killed his two young sons in a drunk driving accident back in 2012. The jury came to their decision on Wednesday, August 27, after deciding that Barajas did not kill the man in question.
The reason for the acquittal was, primarily, a lack of substantial evidence regarding the matter. For one, even though Barajas was said to have shot Jose Banda in the head following the death of his children, no murder weapon was ever found, and tests for gunshot residue on the accused hands came up negative. There was also a lack of witnesses to the event, which is said to have transpired when it was extremely dark and cold, as well as being on a rural road that was not frequented much at nighttime. The lack of evidence lead to the fact that, although attorneys for Barajas were unable to provide any reasonable insight into who else would have killed Banda, especially considering the circumstances of the situation, the lawyers were able to present a case that prevented a conviction being reached.
The incident occurred when the car that Barajas was driving stalled while he and his sons were driving down a small, unlit road near Alvin, Texas. The children, aged 11 and 12, were instructed to get out and help push the Ford 250 while the father stayed at the wheel to steer the vehicle. While the two boys pushed the stalled car, they were struck by Banda’s oncoming vehicle, which ultimately lead to both of their deaths. The man’s blood alcohol limit was reportedly twice the legal limit. Prosecutors argued that Barajas was so distraught over the death of his children that he immediately returned to his home to retrieve a pistol. Upon acquiring his weapon, he located Banda and shot multiple rounds into his head, ending his life.
The reactions to the verdict were mixed. While Barajas and his wife were overcome with joy surrounding his freedom, the family of Banda were devastated at the ruling. Reports have stated that they made their way out of the courtroom as quickly as possible, shielding their tear-stricken faces from those present at the hearing. Although they were filled with sorrow for the loss that Barajas suffered when Banda took the life of the two boys, they did not believe that taking their family member’s life in return was the way to handle things. They had hoped that Barajas would face some kind of conviction for what they feel was unnecessary retaliation.
This is not the first known case in which the parent of a deceased child has potentially been involved with the murder of their child’s killer. In 2011, the father of Jason Foreman threatened revenge for his son, who was murdered by Michael Woodmansee. John Foreman vowed to kill his son’s murderer should he see an early release from prison. He reportedly blamed himself for the potential early release of the man, as he had grudgingly agreed to let his son’s killer accept a plea deal versus going to full trial.
David Barajas has been fully acquitted for the murder of Jose Banda in 2012. However, Banda’s family does not feel as though justice has been properly served and are extremely discontented with the verdict.
by Rebecca Grace