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Father Accused of Executing Drunk Driver Acquitted

Prosecutors were irate that David Barajas was found not guilty by the jury

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By Bryan Le

08/28/14

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A Texas jury has acquitted a father who allegedly executed the drunk driver who killed his two young sons. 

As earlier reported, David Barajas and his two children, aged 11 and 12, were pushing a truck that had run out of gas when Jose Banda, driving drunk at the time, plowed into the children back in 2012. Texas prosecutors alleged that Barajas, "in a fit of rage" over his sons, went to his home and returned to the scene of the crash with a gun and shot Banda dead.

The prosecution had faced an uphill battle from the beginning. Not only did they face the sympathy the jury felt for a father who watched his two sons killed in front of him, authorities never found the murder weapon. Little physical evidence linked Barajas to Banda's shooting death—the most compelling of which was that Banda was likely killed by a .357 caliber gun and a box of such ammunition was found in Barajas' home.

Barajas' defense claimed that at the time, Barajas was only focused on one thing: saving his sons. There was also no gunpowder residue found on Barajas as there should have been if he fired a weapon.

The jury deliberated for three hours before returning with their decision to acquit Barajas.

“What the state’s perspective is and will always be is that if you or I or anyone we know had a horrible collision and killed another human being, that you get the fair review of the criminal justice system, not a roadside execution,” Brazoria County District Attorney Jeri Yenne says. "Three sons were lost that day. The state has compassion for every single one of them, the Barajas children and the Banda son."

Barajas, despite the crimes he was accused of, says he seeks closure and prays for Banda's family.

"They lost a son, too," Barajas says.

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