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Accused killer suddenly pleads guilty, sentenced to 40 years

David Samora accepts plea agreement just as murder trial begins

SAN ANTONIO – Prosecutors had just concluded their opening remarks Tuesday, and the first witness was on the witness stand, when the murder trial of David Samora came to an abrupt end.

Samora, 18, told his lawyer he was willing to accept a plea deal of 40 years in prison in exchange for his guilty plea for the slaying of Raymond Silva.

If Samora had been found guilty in a jury trial, he could have faced a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Related: Trial begins for teen accused in fatal shooting over backpack

During her opening statement prior to Samora's plea agreement, prosecutor Tamara Strauch outlined the prosecution's case for the jury.

Strauch said that Samora and three other teens confronted Silva, 18, at a Southwest Side mobile home park Feb. 8, 2018, and accused him of stealing a backpack belonging to one of the teens.

The three men had guns and Samora pointed his weapon directly as Silva, Strauch said.

"Raymond sees that, and says, 'That's not a real gun, that's a BB gun,' and he hits," Strauch said. "He then gets a few licks in on David Samora."

Moments later, several shots rang out, Strauch said. 

Related: Group of teenagers ambushed, killed 18-year-old over stolen backpack, investigators say

"As he pulled the trigger, (Samora shouted) ... 'This ain't no BB gun,'" Strauch said. Two other teens also fired their guns.

Silva was hit five times, according to Strauch.

Two of the other teens are awaiting trial on murder charges.

A third suspect pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery charges, and as part of a plea agreement will serve 20 years in prison.


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Paul Venema

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