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From friendly to deadly: Witnesses describe father, son's relationship that ended in fatal shooting

Shooting of Jesse Vasquez Jr. followed days of arguing with his son

SAN ANTONIO – Witnesses on Tuesday in a murder trial described how a father and son's relationship turned from friendly to deadly.

When Jesse David Vasquez lll, 24, moved in with his father and stepmother temporarily in spring 2016, their relationship was friendly, according to witnesses.

“It was an easy relationship,” said Ann Vasquez, Jesse David Vasquez lll's stepmother, in court Tuesday. “It was just kind of like Jesse was glad and happy to have him there.”

Ann Vasquez was talking about her husband, Jesse Vasquez Jr., 47, during the younger Vasquez's trial.

The younger Vasquez is on trial facing murder charges on suspicion of shooting his father to death on April 17, 2016, at the elder Vasquez’s home in the 2500 block of Saunders Avenue.

The victim’s widow said that her husband had been asking his son to leave the home. He had been staying there for several weeks, and their once-friendly relationship had deteriorated.

They argued constantly, according to witnesses.

“In the days leading up to the shooting, the defendant started making weird and creepy comments,” prosecutor Josh Sandoval told the jury during opening arguments. “He started saying stuff like, ‘I’m gonna kill my dad.’"

Family members said that the men used drugs daily, often together, and both carried handguns.

“Our victim made the mistake in the afternoon of pulling a gun on the defendant, and he put it toward his face and that wasn’t right,” Sandoval said. “But that didn’t give him the right to kill him.”

The defense team made no opening statement when the trial began, but they are expected to argue that the shooting was a case of self-defense.

Testimony will continue on Wednesday in Judge Joey Contreras’ 187th District Court.

A conviction could mean a maximum sentence of life in prison for Jesse David Vasquez lll.


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