SAN ANTONIO – James Chapa, whose testimony is part of a plea deal, told the jury how he saw Ignacio Jimenez, 53, stab Roland Pantoja, 30, to death in a West Side alley on the night of Aug. 29, 2016.
Chapa told the jury about how he drove Pantoja to an alley behind the home of David Ortiz. He said Ortiz, 34, wanted to talk to Pantoja about an incident the previous June in which Pantoja ran over Jimenez with his truck.
Chapa said that Ortiz spoke with Pantoja briefly, then stabbed him and forced him out of Chapa’s car.
Pantoja tried to crawl away, Chapa said.
“He looks up and he tells me, 'Hey Chapa.' He goes, 'Do me a favor, man. Tell my little boy that I love him,'” Chapa said during his testimony.
Chapa said that Jimenez, who was standing nearby, approached, and Pantoja told him that he ran over him by accident and said that he was sorry.
“He leans over and he tells him. ‘I’m sorry, too.’ And he just stabbed him in the chest and then he pulled it out and he stabbed him again right in the middle two times, “ Chapa said.
Pantoja’s body was dumped alongside the road in the 10000 block of Quintana Road. Chapa said that he helped load the body in a truck for the drop-off.
“I felt like if I don’t participate with them, they’re gonna, you know, they’re gonna have doubts about me, and I’m going to end up being the next Roland," Chapa said.
Both Chapa and Jimenez claim membership in the Mexican Mafia prison gang.
Since he helped move the body, Chapa could have also been charged in the murder, but he was granted immunity in exchange for his testimony.
Jimenez's trial resumes on Thursday in Felony Impact Court before District Judge Dick Alcala.
A conviction could mean life in prison for Jimenez.