Co-defendant in backpack slaying case considers plea deal

Samuel Ayala charged with murder under law of parties

SAN ANTONIO – One day after an 18-year-old man suddenly pleaded guilty to murder just as his trial was about to begin, a co-defendant is considering the same move.

David Samora was sentenced to 40 years in prison following his guilty plea in connection with the fatal shooting of Raymond Silva, 18.

Related: Accused killer suddenly pleads guilty, sentenced to 40 years

Samora and three other men accused Silva of stealing a backpack that belonged to Samuel Ayala, who was among the group that confronted the victim at a Southwest Side mobile home park on Feb. 8, 2018.

Despite being armed with a revolver, Ayala denied shooting Silva.

Under the Texas law of parties, which states that a person can be criminally responsible for the actions of another in certain circumstances, Ayala is charged with murder.

"He says he was merely present at the scene and not acting as a party," Ayala's attorney, James Oltersdorf, said.

Oltersdorf said there has been some discussion with prosecutors about a plea agreement for Ayala, but he would not discuss specific details.

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

"We just haven't made the final decision yet as to which direction to take the case," Oltersdorf said. "It's a 5 to 99 year range of punishment."

District Judge Stephanie Boyd, who presided over Samora's trial, has ordered prosecutors to turn over all discovery files in the case to Oltersdorf. Boyd said absent a plea agreement, she will set the case for trial in early November.

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