Man accused in triple murder allegedly shot victims while wife, kids waited in nearby van

Testimony begins in Jacob Brownson capital murder trial

SAN ANTONIO – New details behind the gruesome murder of three men in 2016 were revealed on the first day of trial.

Jacob Brownson is charged with capital murder for allegedly fatally shooting Pedro Garcia, Matthew Martinez and Anthony Rodrigues at their North Side apartment.

The three men were discovered with several gunshot wounds on Sept. 27, 2016, by the property manager of La Paloma Apartment Complex.

During opening statements, the special prosecutor on the case, Tim Molina, said that Brownson, his wife and kids had been staying at the apartment for a couple of days with the men. Brownson left and returned days later after his wife called him.

After returning, Molina said Brownson put his wife and three young kids in their van but returned to the apartment.

“He goes back into that apartment and then shoots and brutally murders these three individuals as two of them were getting ready for work and one was asleep on the couch,” Molina said.

Molina told the jury that Brownson’s wife is a suspect in the case but was offered immunity for her expected testimony this week.

The first witness to take the stand was the apartment complex property manager, Cynthia Bush. She told jurors on Tuesday that she noticed one of the men on the ground and could see another body on the floor further in after looking through the patio door.

Bush said she immediately called 911 to report what she saw.

Later, a nearby neighbor -- with the help of a translator -- testified she remembered hearing shots around 7:10 in the morning as she was coming back from dropping off her son at school. As she was trying to enter her apartment, the door jammed, and she heard a few more gunshots and saw a man with a hoodie quickly exiting the men’s apartment through the patio door. She said he never turned toward her and couldn’t see his face.

Other witnesses to take to the stand were family members of the victims.

Nina Ramos, Pedro Garcia’s mom, talked about her son’s relationship with Brownson and how they grew up together and referred to each other as cousins.

All men were from the Beeville area, and the three roommates had just moved to San Antonio a month before their murders.

Brownson is facing up to life in prison without the possibility of parole if he is found guilty. Testimony will resume in the 175th District Court on Wednesday.


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About the Authors:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with 15 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.