Teenager found guilty of killing homeowner in home invasion

Jonathan Perales to get life in prison without possibility of parole

SAN ANTONIO – A 19-year-old man was found guilty Thursday of capital murder in a home invasion.

Jurors deliberated about two hours before returning a guilty verdict against Jonathan Perales, who was charged in connection with the October 2017 shooting death of Clayton Robinson, 51.

Perales was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole since prosecutors didn't seek the death penalty.

During closing arguments, prosecutors and defense attorneys focused on the word intent.

"If you're going to commit a crime at 2 o'clock in the morning and you're carrying a gun, then you have intent to use that weapon," prosecutor Rose Zebell told jurors.

Perales' lawyer also put the word intent into play during her closing argument.

"Was he stupid in most everything he did?" defense attorney Kirsten Mulliner asked. "For sure, but he didn't form the intent saying, 'I'm going to go in there to kill him.'"

As she asked for a guilty verdict, prosecutor Kristina Escalona said, "If we allow going to sleep in our own home to become a risk, what do we have left?"

The defendant testified in his defense Wednesday, giving his account of the fatal encounter with Robinson.

"I know it was his right to shoot at me, I was completely in the wrong," Perales testified.

Perales said he was high on drugs when he entered Robinson's home in Universal City.

After making two trips from the home to his car with items from Robinson's home, Perales said he returned for a third time and approached the master bedroom, where Robinson shot Perales twice.

Perales returned fire, killing Robinson.

About the Authors:

Paul Venema is a courthouse reporter for KSAT with more than 25 years experience in the role.

David Ibañez has been managing editor of KSAT.com since the website's launch in October 2000.