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Dad Acquitted in Murder of Driver Who Killed His Sons

Whether it was lack of evidence or jury nullification, the Texas father who lost two sons in a drunk driving accident is glad his murder trial is now over. reports that a visibly relieved David Barajas cried and hugged is wife after the verdict was read.

Prosecutors had alleged that the 32-year-old man killed 20 year-old Jose Banda in a fit of rage after he slammed into his 2 sons who were pushing a truck down the road that had run out of gas.   Banda was drunk at the time.

Authorities told the jury that they believe Barajas went to his home about 100 yards from the crash site, got a gun, and shot Banda to death for revenge.

Defense attorneys claimed that was not the case, and that Barajas was busy tending to his sons and not thinking about revenge.  They also claimed police focused only on their client and failed to search for anyone else who could have had a motive.

There were no witnesses to the shooting that happened on a rural road and a weapon was never recovered.

Legal analysts had said the case was marginal at best and that jury nullification could become a factor.  Nullification is when jurors empathize with the defendant and opt not to convict despite evidence of guilt.

Barajas commented briefly after the verdict was read.  “Three lives were lost.  This is a loss for everyone.”

Join Jo Anne Paul weekdays for news updates on 99.1 WFMK-FM, 100.7 WITL-FM and 1240 WJIM-AM and the other stations of the Michigan Talk Network

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