Capital murder trial to begin Tuesday for man accused in 2019 slaying

Jimmy Tran facing life in prison if found guilty

SAN ANTONIO – A man accused of robbing and fatally shooting a 22-year-old-man in 2019 is set to go to trial.

Jimmy Tran is one of two men charged with the death of Andres Salinas.

According to an arrest affidavit, a witness told investigators he saw Salinas walk up to a car parked behind a Wing Stop in the 13900 block of Nacogdoches Road and then started to run away from the vehicle. That’s when Espinar and Tran got out of the car and started shooting at Salinas, who collapsed to the ground. The suspects got back in the car and fled, the witness said.

Salinas was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators were able to get surveillance video from a nearby H-E-B that helped identify the suspects’ car as a white Hyundai Genesis. Officers searched police records for cars matching that description and found a person of interest, Espinar, who had recently been arrested on suspicion of reckless conduct, possession of a controlled substance and possession of a firearm.

Police tracked down Espinar and took pictures of his car. The affidavit says investigators compared those pictures to the surveillance video and determined it was the same car. Investigators called Espinar in for questioning, and he eventually admitted to shooting Salinas, the affidavit says.

According to the affidavit, Espinar told police he and Tran were buying narcotics from Salinas, but decided they wanted to rob him. Once Salinas had given them the drugs, Espinar showed him he had a gun and told him, “You should go back inside and go back to work,” the affidavit said.

Espinar told police Salinas then reached inside the car and grabbed some cash that was between Espinar’s legs and then took off running. Police say Espinar and Tran got out of the car and started shooting at Salinas, killing him.

Espinar has since taken a plea deal but has not been sentenced. He could take the stand this week to testify against Tran.

Tran, who is charged with capital murder, is facing up to life in prison without parole if he is found guilty.

Testimony is expected to begin Tuesday in the 186th District Court.


About the Authors:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.

Misael started at KSAT-TV as a photojournalist in 1987.