BRAZORIA COUNTY, Texas – A man acquitted of murder did not rule out a lawsuit against those who put him on trial.
Wednesday, David Barajas hugged his wife and cried after jurors found him innocent. His lawyer hoisted a letter of acquittal for reporters to see. He also said evidence in the case was botched.
"It was definitely a mess up on the part of law enforcement that investigated the case in the beginning," Sam Cammack said Wednesday.
In December 2012, Barajas saw his two sons run over while they were pushing the family car just 100 feet from home. Brazoria County Sheriff investigators said Barajas then ran to his home, got his gun, came back and shot the drunk driver, Jose Banda, to death.
However, authorities never found the murder weapon, eyewitnesses to the shooting or gunshot residue on Barajas. In court, two dispatchers testified Barajas would have had just three-and-a-half minutes to act before deputies showed up. Also, a now-fired deputy confessed to the fact that he heard gunfire as he arrived on scene.
Also, Barajas' family believes Banda was killed in some-type of gang retaliation.
"Honestly, I saw the people leave the scene and I told investigators there were people that left the scene in a vehicle," said Cindy Barajas, David's wife who was there at the scene. "I said it was a light vehicle, but I didn't know what it was. There was someone else there and (Banda and the two men with him) had to have been being chased because those lights were off. I know that for a fact."
"Definitely, Mr. Banda did have the Houstone Tango Blast gang tattoo," Cammack said. "We believe it had something to do with that."
We brought those allegations to Brazoria County Sheriff Charles Wagner. He stands by his investigators.
"I've got the best people in the world working for me and I believe in what they do," Sheriff Wagner said. "I know my me did a complete, thorough investigation in this case."
Sheriff Wagner said investigators chased every lead, including tips on gang involvement. They found little. He believes, though, the circumstantial evidence shown in court, which included Barajas' blood being found in Banda's car, is enough to suggest Barajas got away with murder.
"I'm convinced of that, yes," Wagner said. "He did."
So, unless sheriff investigators see new information, their criminal case is closed. However, with litigation still possible, it may not be over.