Murder defendant: 'I shot him'

Jury hears police interview David Zuniga; Jesse Richards killed in 2015

By Paul Venema - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - The accused killer of an Iraq War veteran admitted to police -- during a police interview -- that he shot and killed the victim.

David Zuniga, 18, who is on trial for the slaying of Jesse Richards, 26, admitted to the fatal shooting to detectives during a taped interview three months after the killing in December 2015.

Detective Ruben Perez, of the San Antonio Police Department, testified Tuesday that, acting on a tip, he had traveled to a trade center near Houston where Zuniga was enrolled in some training.

"At that moment, I was treating him as a witness, and I was there to interview him," Perez testified. "At that point, he wasn't a suspect."

But that soon changed, as the jury heard during a recording of the interview.

"What you're telling me is that you're the one that shot Jesse?" Perez asked during that interview.

"I shot him," Zuniga replied.

Zuniga's brother, Daniel Torres, 21, had been with Zuniga when they had confronted Richards as he was stepping out of a bus. Richards, who served three tours of duty in Iraq, had been going home after work.

While they were attempting to rob Richards, the brothers got no money, authorities said.

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

If Zuniga is found guilty of murder, he could face a maximum of life in prison.

Torres also faces a murder charge and is being held in the Bexar County Jail awaiting trial.
 

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