Two different versions of deadly 2019 shooting presented during day one of capital murder trial

Jimmy Tran charged in fatal shooting, robbery of Andres Salinas

SAN ANTONIO – Opening statements during a capital murder trial presented two different versions of what happened in a deadly shooting.

Andres Salinas was gunned down behind a Wing Stop back in 2019 allegedly by two men, Jimmy Tran and Sebastian Espinar.

Tran is currently on trial for capital murder in the 186th district court, while Espinar has since taken a plea deal in exchange for testifying against Tran.

During opening statements, the state says that Espinar will tell the jury that he and Tran had planned to rob Salinas for selling low-quality Xanax.

“Sebastian will testify that he intended to rob Andres to teach him a lesson,” prosecutor Andrew Fields said.

Fields said that Espinar will testify that he never had any intention of killing Salinas and that he shot above Salinas just to scare him but that Tran fired his rifle hitting Salinas in the back.

The state said they had evidence that reveals Tran was trying to sell a rifle after the shooting and that the bullet that killed Salinas came from a rifle.

Meanwhile, the defense painted a different version of what happened.

“We believe the evidence will show you a different set of events,” defense attorney Joseph Hoelscher said.

Hoelscher said that Salinas was the aggressor and was trying to rob Espinar and Tran.

They said that Tran was only guilty of committing the crime of buying drugs.

“We believe he committed the misdemeanor offense for purchasing Xanax pills,” Hoelscher said. “This is not capital murder and we are asking for a not guilty verdict.”

Testimony is expected to continue on Tuesday. If found guilty Tran will automatically be sentenced to life in prison without parole.

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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.