SAN ANTONIO – Eric Mouton and his family won't forget the gruesome discovery they made during a stroll Sunday evening in September 2016 along the North Padre Island Seashore near Corpus Christi.
Mouton told jurors Monday in the murder trial of Gregorio Barrera that he and his family thought they had found the body of a deer partially buried in the sand.
"I noticed the crown of the skull, that it was human remains," Mouton said.
The remains were later identified as that of Andres "Andy" Barrera, 46.
According to the Nueces County Medical Examiner's Office, the cause of death was "homicidal violence."
During opening arguments in Gregorio Barrera's trial, prosecutors told the jury that he and his brother Andres Barrera had been feuding over a home in San Antonio that they had inherited from their parents.
Both were living there until the younger brother initiated legal action.
"In the summer of 2016, he legally evicted the defendant, Gregorio Barrera, his brother, from the house on Sagebrush," prosecutor Kimberly Gonzalez told the jury.
Gonzalez said that after Andres Barrera disappeared, police began questioning his 50-year-old brother.
"What you're going to hear is several inconsistent stories about what happened to his brother," Gonzalez said.
She promised that as the trial moves along, prosecutors will play several hours of interviews with the defendant that police recorded.
If convicted, Barrera could face a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Testimony will continue Wednesday in Judge Jefferson Moore's 186th District Court.