Jury acquits Texas father accused of shooting drunken driver who killed his sons

The Texas father who was on trial for fatally shooting the drunken driver who killed his two sons in Dec. 2012 was acquitted on Wednesday by a jury of his peers, local media reports.

Thirty-two-year-old David Barajas and his sons, ages 11 and 12, were pushing the family truck down a road, as it had run out of gas, when 20-year-old Jose Banda hit the two boys with his vehicle, killing them.

Banda was intoxicated at the time of the crash.

Prosecutors argued that Barajas grabbed a firearm and fatally shot the driver following the incident, however, police never found a weapon at the scene leaving doubt as to whether the distraught father murdered the man.

The tragedy occurred in Alvin, Texas, 50 yards away from Barajas’s residence. Prosecutors contended that Barajas went home and retrieved a firearm to shoot Banda but defense attorney Sam Cammack said that the father’s only concern was saving his sons.

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 25 comments… add one }
  • petru sova August 17, 2015, 8:30 am

    I think this shows that it could only happen in Texas. They seem to make up the law as they go along. The most recent outrage was when last week they executed (legally murdered) a man that accidentally ran over a cop. His personal life did not meet the social standards of the conservative Texas mentality so it was ok to ignore the law and kill him. In this other case they simply ignored the law and made an exception to it because of the nature of the case i.e. a drunk caused the needless death of two innocent boys. The family meet Texas social standards so the law was ignored. Even a retarded Moron is aware of what took place but no matter we make exceptions whenever we feel like it after all this is Texas.

    • Robert June 24, 2016, 4:57 am

      Are you a Texas resident or are you jealous that Texas has the ability to make the right decision without a lot of riots, stand ins, sit ins, etc. We’re adults here and there are times that the laws just don’t apply to certain situations. That’s why juries have the leeway to apply the law if it needs to be or acquit the person if the law doesn’t fit. We don’t get them 100% right but it’s much better than those leftist communities that get things 100% wrong all the time.

      • Deenohh February 3, 2017, 4:59 pm

        I am a retired police officer and about as conservative, gun rights oriented and law and order as they come. This is about as ugly a verdict as I have ever heard. Right decision? The man was presenting no threat to the shooter, the children were already injured and dying or perhaps dead. He should have been arrested and tried. This verdict permitted an act of revenge NOT self defense or defense of another person. Anybody who thinks this is a good verdict or that questioning it would only be done by liberals, should have their sanity examined.

        • mtman2 June 23, 2017, 11:55 am

          They call it-
          “Temporary Insanity”
          If some idiot just killed your two sons in front of you you may do the same thing.

    • John Collins October 24, 2016, 5:29 pm

      Now, Now Petru we don’t use words like “retarded” and “Moron” in Texas. That would be wrong to speak ill of the mentally challenged. And yes, “we” do have to make exceptions in Texas no matter how retarded and moronic their comments.

    • Rollin L. March 3, 2017, 4:35 pm

      We don’t know with any certainty that the father shot the drunk driver, given the evidence and principals of “beyond a reasonable doubt.” But let’s stipulate for the sake of the discussion that he did, in a fit of anguish, do so. In the old days of American justice, it was common and acceptable to implement such a punishment when a criminal act is caught in process, and there is zero doubt about the guilt of the criminal. This driver made the deliberate, premeditated decision to drink and drive, thereby choosing to put all around him at risk of injury and death. That constitutes murder in the first degree. If the law does not see it that way, then the law is what is wrong here. The driver had earned the death penalty and received it. He was even spared the emotional roller coaster of the trial and having to face his victims. He got off easy, relatively painlessly, quickly. No hint of cruel and unusual punishment, just the quick and just penalty for his murderous actions. End of story.

      • Z March 10, 2017, 5:23 am

        ” The driver had earned the death penalty and received it.”
        And That’s All Folks.

  • BigR September 2, 2014, 1:05 pm

    Excellent jury! They made the right decision.

  • Augest West September 2, 2014, 8:28 am

    Well, When they investigated the incident they did find an empty holster and rounds that apparently matched. So if he did go home and retrieve the firearm that would take it from a crime of passion to a crime of intent.
    In any case not finding the firearm is one thing that may have helped the jury but I doubt it.
    I’m thinking maybe a passer by stopped at the scene, Held the driver possibly at gun point, Then the father went to his home and got his firearm. After shooting the driver who just killed his two boys the other passer by took the firearm and disposed of it.
    Now this is all speculation on my part. I can only pray for the man and his loss.
    I am glad he was not condemned to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

    • Gary E September 2, 2014, 11:31 am

      Father sees his two sons mowed down by a drunk driver. This is blood, guts and broken bones. Shattered future(s), lost dreams, broken harts.
      Some would think that 15 maybe 20 minutes is enough time to recover and regain a sane mind. Some of us are realistic enough to understand such occurrences could cause PTSD. A PTSD sufferer isn’t thinking about time limitations and doesn’t recognise societies misguided right to impose such limits. He will follow you to the end of time and take his justice when he feels the time is right.
      The jury got it right. He needed killin. To be a fly on that wall in the jury room would have been priceless.

      • Deenohh February 3, 2017, 5:08 pm

        If by “he needed killing” you mean the driver, you had better pray you never get into an collision with fatalities in Texas.
        Someone might have the thought that YOU need killing. Seeing as Texas has one of the highest rates of fatal car crashes in the country it is not as far fetched as I am sure you are assuming. I mourn for the loss of this mans children. THAT is a tragedy But the shooter is a murderer and just about anywhere else but rural Texas he goes to prison – as he should. He was acquitted based on his loss not his actions. Gunning down an unarmed man is murder, not justice.

        • Green Tip June 2, 2017, 11:55 am

          “UNARMED” you say? He had JUST used his vehicle to run over/KILL this man’s children! This would TOTALLY WRECK ANYONE’S psyche! If ‘temporary insanity’ EVER was to be applied, this is the unfortunate time…

  • Russ September 2, 2014, 12:24 am

    I feel bad for that Dad.
    He lost his kids and has to live with that and the memory of taking out the a–hole murderer.
    God bless him please.

  • grant September 1, 2014, 1:47 pm

    Crime of passion. Chances are he was armed ahead of time and due to the grapic homocide of his 2 little boys in front of him… he just lost his mind . I would have too.

    • Joe McHugh September 1, 2014, 3:39 pm

      grant, you are correct. When a person is subjected to extreme psychological trauma he or she could be be described as being temporarily insane. Such a defense is credible for a jury to consider if the act itself falls inside of a time line.
      An immediate violent reaction is understandable but when the distraught killer takes the time to get a gun or arrange another way of killing the antagonist, the jury starts to question the claimed temporary insanity plead.
      The point is, the jury has to weigh the length of time between the original outrage and the following act of passion.

      • joe liberal September 2, 2014, 3:57 am

        well put!

      • Bill September 2, 2014, 7:55 am

        I like the standard Texas defense “He Needed killin'”

    • Somegunguy April 3, 2017, 6:54 am

      Can’t imagine the shock, pain and anguish of this poor Father. My favorite hunting dog got hit by a truck in front of me when I was a kid. I remember having tunnel vision watching it slide down the road and feeling totally disconnected from myself for several minutes. As a Father now I can say that the love I had for that dog is nothing compared to how much I love my kids. Walking up to the window of the drivers vehicle and smelling alcohol after seeing the horror he just caused. No judgement from me at all if the father did indeed do it. No one but God has a right to judge his actions IMO.

  • Gabriel Aguilar September 1, 2014, 11:59 am

    Heck no here in California they bend u over and screw u over the best they can look at our gun laws and how they trample over our second amendment rights . I would move to Texas in a heart beat but their immigration problem is just as bad as ours what’s happening to our once great country?

    • joe liberal September 2, 2014, 3:55 am

      Well, to answer your question…..it may just be that ‘we’ weren’t that great to start with. And the more you learn some details of life & the power of those we pay to police us and how “out of control’ they have become since 9/11 your view of life has matured. Just maybe!!

  • Dennis Siegler September 1, 2014, 11:34 am

    In my state of Florida, they would’ve charged the dead guy with killing himself!

  • Ken del Valle September 1, 2014, 11:17 am

    I moved to Texas from Chicago fifteen years ago. I really like it here. I appreciate the “Texas attitude”.

    No I am not… I am a well educated liberal democrat.

  • Jerry Gabrovic September 1, 2014, 9:16 am

    Would this be the jury result in your state?

    • glenn howard September 1, 2014, 9:32 pm

      i would hope my liberal state would side with the dad,,dont drink and drive/kill

  • Tony2Wolves September 1, 2014, 7:55 am

    Good call on the jury’s part. I always figured it was a “Drive By Shooting,” not the father of the two dead children. Now they need a new D.A. for the Alvin TX area come next election!!!

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