SAN ANTONIO – A jury found a 24-year-old man guilty of fatally shooting his father.
Jurors deliberated about four hours before rendering their decision.
It was a familiar argument Friday as attorneys for Jesse Vasquez lll, 24, reminded the jury of the statement he made to police the night that he shot his father, Jesse Vasquez Jr., 47, to death.
“He didn’t want to kill his father,” defense attorney Amy Owen told the jury. “You heard in his statement that he loved his father.
"It was clearly a case of self-defense. It was kill or be killed," she said.
Owen was addressing the jury during closing arguments in the younger man’s murder trial.
The shooting ended a night of violence at the Vasquez home, according to witnesses.
Vasquez III had been staying with his father, stepmother and stepsisters at his father’s home on Saunders Street in April 2016. He had been told by his father to leave, prompting a heated argument between the two men.
“His dad was high on meth. He’s violent and is terrorizing his family," Owen said.
“That doesn’t exculpate what the defendant did," countered prosecutor Josh Sandoval. “A life is a life, and the defendant deserves to be convicted of murder.”
A conviction, Sandoval argued, was supported by what he said were several inconsistencies in Vasquez III's statement.
“When you get so accustomed to telling lies, it’s hard to remember what the truth is," Sandoval said.
Vasquez could get a maximum punishment of life in prison.
The punishment phase of his trial begins Monday.