Jury hears dramatic account of fatal road rage shooting

Francisco Rodriguez killed; Ruben Martinez on trial

Author: Paul Venema, Reporter, pvenema@ksat.com
Published On: Nov 27 2012 04:24:18 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 27 2012 04:54:48 PM CST
George Ibarra

George Ibarra remembers about having an uneasy feeling as he and some friends drove along Interstate 37 South in December 2011.

"I had this feeling that something was going to happen," Ibarra told jurors Tuesday in the trial of Ruben Martinez.

Martinez, 19, is accused of fatally shooting Francisco Rodriguez, 18, as Rodriguez drove along the Southside expressway.

Ibarra told the jury he was a backseat passenger.

"I see like, uh, orange like a flash and – boom! boom!," Ibarra testified. "When I see that I'm just leaning over and I noticed Frankie's head dropped."

Ibarra said a front seat passenger managed to steer the car onto the expressway shoulder.

"I hopped out of the car, opened the driver's-side door, and I'm telling Frankie, 'Talk to me brother, talk to me,'" Ibarra testified.

Rodriguez died at a hospital a short time later.

It's not clear what triggered the shooting, although witnesses claim it was in retaliation for a confrontation between the teens a week earlier.

Ibarra said that he and the victim were former gang members, but insisted the earlier incident had nothing to do with the shooting.

Testimony is expected to continue Wednesday in Judge Sid Harle's 226th District Court.

If found guilty, Martinez could be sentenced to a maximum punishment of life in prison.