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Dad Standing Trial for Executing Drunk Driver Who Killed His Sons

Prosecutors face a lack of evidence and overwhelming support for the grieving father.

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By Bryan Le

08/25/14

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In one of the more complex drunk driving fatalities in some time, a Texas father is currently standing trial for executing the drunk driver who killed his two young sons.

In December 2012, the two young boys, 12-year-old David Barajas and 11-year-old Caleb Barajas, were helping their father, David Barajas, push a pickup truck that had run out of gas on the road when a drunk driver, Jose Banda, hit them.

The events that happened next are now the subject of a jury trial in Angleton, since Barajas allegedly left the scene of the accident to go home and get his gun before returning to kill Banda.

The trial prosecutor Brian Hrach argues that Banda "deserved punishment. He deserved severe legal punishment, but he did not deserve a public execution."

But Barajas' defense attorney Sam Cammack claimed that not only did Barajas not kill Banda, he never left the crash site. "When police get there my client is doing what he was doing the whole time, trying to save his children's lives," Cammack said.

Legal experts say that Cammack's argument could hold water. There was no weapon was found, no witnesses identified Barajas as the shooter, and tests showed that there was no gunshot residue on Barajas indicating that he fired a weapon.

Prosecutors also face the jury's sympathy for the grieving father who may have acted out of rage after seeing his two sons killed by a drunk driver. In one of the 911 calls from the incident played for jurors, an unidentified caller told 911 dispatchers a boy is "bleeding badly...he's in half. It's bad."

"This is a difficult case for everyone involved. Everyone in here has lost somebody they loved," said Judge Terri Holder.

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