ANGLETON, Texas – Jurors heard testimony and 911 calls Tuesday in the trial of a father accused of taking revenge on the drunk driver who killed his sons.
On his way into the Brazoria County courtroom where he is on trial for murder, David Barajas, 32, praised those who showed up wearing buttons displaying a picture of his sons.
"I want to thank my family for their love and support," he said.
On December 7, 2012, the Barajas family was driving home from dinner at a Mexican restaurant. However, they ran out of gas on a rural road near Alvin. Caleb, 11, and David, Jr., 12, got out to push. On the same road, Jose Banda, Jr. was driving home too, prosecutors said. Authorities said Banda was drunk and had two passengers. Banda's car crashed into both of the Barajas boys. Both died.
In court, relatives struggled listening to the 911 calls dispatchers got from strangers. They described seeing a child's body in half and people screaming.
"(It's) terrible," said Tina Barajas, David Barajas' sister-in-law. "It's very, very sad and heartbreaking just hearing the screams of the children and my sister-in-law and everything in the background."
One caller also heard a single gunshot. Two dispatchers testified that gunfire came seven minutes after the crash and moments before deputies pulled up and found Banda shot to death.
Hours later, investigators heard someone in woods nearby. At that time, Barajas' lawyer claims his client was in a hospital.
"I think the evidence is kind of speaking for itself and I'd like to leave it at that," said Sam Cammack, Barajas' lawyer.
Prosecutors said two teens, coming home from a party, saw the aftermath of a fight between David Barajas and people with Banda. Those teens said Barajas asked them to call 911, and then briefly disappeared. Investigators later found his blood in Banda's car, prosecutors said in court.
However, defense lawyers argued that some blood found in and around Banda's car has not been identified.
Banda's family declined comment.