This is a bizarre case. Three teens were shot and killed in a Garland convenience store on December 26, 2021. The shooter, Abel Acosta, has never been apprehended. However, this Tuesday, the capital murder trial for the father of the accused shooter began. Yeah, really.
Why is Richard Acosta, the father of the shooter 14 Year Old Abel Acosta on trial?
Prosecutors believe Richard knew his son was planning the shooting all along. Evidence shows the brake lights of Richard’s truck were on while waiting. Prosecutors believe it’s a sign that shows the father was ready to drive off.
“Before the door is even shut, this defendant is taking off,” the prosecution said.
The defense argued that Richard Acosta had no idea what would happen on the night of the shooting.
Richard Acosta’s Story
When he hears, the shots he immediately ducks. He doesn’t have time to worry about his son, he’s worried about himself. He doesn’t know where the shots are coming from, he doesn’t know who is shooting. All he knows is he hears shots. He ducks,” the defense said during opening statements.
They then claim Abel jumped into the car and told his father they were shooting at him, which is why he drove off.
“All he knows is he heard shots fired, and he’s trying to get out of there,” the defense said.
Where did the shooter, Able Acosta, Go?
When Abel returned to the truck, defense attorney Heath Harris said Richard drove to their Garland home and claimed that was the last time he saw his son.
“Abel goes upstairs in their home in Garland. Their room is downstairs,” the attorney said.
Harris told the jury that Abel was known to run away.
The prosecution believes Richard helped his son escape to Mexico.
Speaking through a translator, the uncle of 16 year old victim Ivan Noyala who was waiting in the parking lot for his nephew, at the time of the shooting, testified about finding him lying in a pool of blood.
“I would talk to him and tell him, ‘Don’t die,’” he said.
The surveillance video played in court showing all three victims inside the store prior to the deadly shooting waiting for their food order near the counter.
It also shows the defendant, Richard Acosta walking in and buying Tylenol for his wife. He went back outside and got into his truck, where he had a quick conversation with his son.
Soon after, prosecutors say Abel got out of the truck and walked to the store’s front entrance, killing all three teenagers. Much of the video was played in court but is too graphic to show on TV.
Xavier Gonzalez, 14 Year old innocent bystander murdered in cold blood.
The first officer on scene said Xavier had a pulse when he began CPR but didn’t make it. He went on to treat an employee who was injured.
“I start hearing screaming, crying, all that,” said Garland Police Officer Bryan Velasquez. Investigators believe Abel was targeting Rafael and Ivan for a previous gun-related incident.
Xavier’s uncle, Rafael Gonzalez, testified about his nephew’s character. He says some family members could not stomach what they saw on the video evidence. “It’s something that only somebody that doesn’t have a heart — it’s a cold-hearted killer — would do. Because it’s one thing to shoot somebody from far away. It’s another thing to see him hiding, sneak behind him and shoot him in the back,” he said. “They were coming out of the courtroom crying because they couldn’t watch it.” In the days following the shooting, Abel disappeared. His father is the accused getaway driver. Richard turned himself in the day after the killings.
It’s unclear if there’s any evidence that Richard knows where his son is. According to his attorney, Richard Acosta is expected to testify at some point this week