Man found guilty in fatal stabbing of jogger
Jury returns quick verdict in Christian Bautista murder trial
SAN ANTONIO – As he has done throughout his trial, Christian Bautista, 31, stared at the jury, courtroom spectators and the victim’s family as the jury’s verdict in his murder trial was read just before noon Thursday.
Judge Jefferson Moore read the verdict: “We the jury find the defendant, Christian Bautista, guilty of murder as charged in the indictment.”
The family of Lauren Bump, the young woman Bautista was convicted of stabbing to death, wept after Moore read the guilty verdict.
During closing arguments, prosecutor Mary Green asked for a guilty verdict.
“The facts demand it,” she said. “Make no doubt about it, ladies and gentlemen, you’re looking at a cold-blooded killer."
As he did in his opening statement last week, Bautista’s attorney, Tim Molina, described his client as “weird and creepy-looking.”
He questioned the credibility of witnesses who said they saw Bautista in O.P. Schnabel Park on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve 2013. Bump’s body was found just before 6 o’clock that evening.
“They all look at photo lineups and the vast majority of them looked at the photo lineup and focused on other people,” Molina said.
During the trial, however, those witnesses pointed to Bautista as the man they saw in the park.
Green pointed out that DNA evidence left no doubt that Bautista was her killer. Bump’s blood was found on Bautista’s clothing.
“He is the face of evil,” Green said as she concluded her argument.
Following the verdict, the Bump family released a statement, which read in part, "Today's verdict brings a close to this chapter of the long journey of trying to build a life without our dear Lauren. No verdict or punishment could possibly come close to replacing our loss. We will continue to focus on celebrating how awesome our Lauren was and how she walked so close to God, showing His love to all. No evil act can quiet God's love. This is why her life touched so many, and continues to, and why she will never be forgotten."
The punishment phase of Bautista’s trial begins Wednesday morning in Moore’s 186th District Court. He is facing a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Below is a timeline of the murder case.
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