Family of man accused of murder says he was acting in self-defense

Samuel Heard, 40, facing murder charge

By Japhanie Gray - Reporter, Rob Garza - Photojournalist

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas - A New Braunfels family is telling their side of a story that ended in their loved one being charged with murder after he allegedly shot and killed a man.

That loved one, Samuel Heard, 40, is accused of shooting George Casillas, 37, multiple times at his home on Broadway Street. Heard’s family was home at the time of the shooting.

“I was in bed with my husband,” said Lucia Heard, Samuel Heard’s mother. “I woke up to some screaming. I woke up and went to put my robe and my shoes on, and then I heard some shots.”

Carol Heard, Samuel Heard’s sister, said her brother was getting off work when he walked in on her being allegedly attacked by Casillas.

“He saw him throw a full beer at me and then began choking me,” said Carol Heard. “My brother stepped in and screamed, ‘Hey, what is going on?’ Then George began screaming, ‘Get the **** out of here!’ He started aggressing my brother and threatening him verbally, so my brother left my room and went around towards his room.”

The family said that is when the shooting happened.

“I didn’t even hear a gunshot at first,” Carol Heard said. “It was like a pellet gun, it was so quiet to me. I just couldn’t believe it. I just feel horrible.”

Carol Heard said her relationship with Casillas was rocky.

“I was with him for about six months,” Carol Heard said. “He started getting really jealous and controlling. I hid all of that from my family. Several nights ago, he started choking me until I passed out and I thought I was dying. When I came to he told me to act like nothing happened.”

She said she feels responsible.

“I was in fear of my life,” Carol Heard said. “He already threatened to kill himself and me because I was going to break up with him, and I didn’t know what to do. It's all my fault.”

Lucia Heard said she had no idea any of those actions were taking place.

“You never know it is happening,” Lucia Heard said. “He always presented himself to me as sweet and kind. I am heartbroken.”

Lucia Heard said she tried to comfort Carol Heard as best as she can.

“She is just torn between her brother and that young man,” Lucia Heard said. “She has been crying since it all happened with no rest. I really feel sorry for the young man’s family that they lost him.”

Carol Heard said she feels the emergency response time could have been better.

“It took them forever,” Carol Heard said through tears. “I told them to air life (Casillas). They should have been faster. They could have saved him.”

The family said they hope detectives will see Samuel Heard as innocent because they say he was doing something he had always done his entire life.

“He was always quiet and would just go to work and come home. He never caused any trouble to nobody,” Lucia Heard said. “He never caused me any trouble. I have never had any problems with him. He has always been a good son. He and his sister grew up together real close. He would protect her. He would always protect her. Since they were little, he would always protect her.”

As they pray investigators see Samuel Heard’s deadly action as self-defense, Carol Heard said she wants this to be a lesson to others out there.

“If you are in a relationship, pay attention to the red flags,” Carol Heard said. “Pay attention to the isolation, the jealousy and the controlling actions. Find a healthy relationship because it could prevent the unexpected like this from happening to you.”

Though Samuel Heard’s family was able to provide their side of the story, KSAT has not been able to get in contact with the victim’s family.

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