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Dori Monson

You Be The Jury: Should a judge show mercy to this dad?

David Barajas was arrested when police arrived at the scene of an accident, only to find the drunk driver who, crashed and killed Barajas' two sons, dead. (Photo: ABC News)

What would you do if a drunk driver hit your car and killed two of your children? One Texas father living that nightmare took the law into his own hands and killed the drunk driver on the scene.

Dori wants you to be the jury, and decide the fate of this man.

David Barajas and his family were driving home on a rural road outside Houston when their car ran out of gas just 50 yards from their home. Barajas and his two sons, Caleb, 11, and David Jr., 12, got out to push the truck home when they were hit by a drunk driver. One son was killed instantly. The other died later at the scene.

Police have now arrested Barajas for shooting the 20-year-old drunk driver that killed his sons.

But many people are now saying that Barajas shouldn't be jailed even if he is convicted, since he's already paid the ultimate price by losing his two sons.

Dori knows that under the law what this dad did was wrong, but he can't help but think that this is case of misplaced justice.

News anchor Ursula Reutin said she can understand the father's anger, but she couldn't justify charging him with murder.

"Maybe there would be a lesser crime that he could be charged with," said Ursula. "Maybe not premeditated murder."

Producer Jake looked at it from the how the drunk driver's life would affect others. The driver would probably only get three to five years for vehicular manslaughter. He might go on to re-offend.

Dori knows that he would go mad if he saw anyone hurt his daughters. He can only imagine what David Barajas felt when his children died.

"Temporary insanity," voted Dori.

One listener calling in said he couldn't feel any sympathy for the murdered drunk driver: only for the father. He didn't see it as a premeditated murder.

"He sees his two little boys murdered right in front of him," said Bob. "And yeah, he does walk to his house, but it's 50 yards away so it's almost like it's in front of his yard. It's not as if he drove across town and got his gun and then came back."

Some listeners that thought Barajas should be convicted and jailed pointed out that, while his children were killed, he also killed someone else's child.

Others didn't like the precedent that would be set by letting this man go, no matter how tragic the situation.

"If we all go out and kill criminals," said listener Sherry, "then what kind of chaos do we create?"

What you're saying on Facebook:

Chris Young: The government needs to really punish those who drive drunk, treat everyone who does it as a potential killer.And reoffenders need to be banned from driving forever. Too soft means very little legal consequence and the drunk drivers seem to ALWAYS survive!! Thoughts, prayers and love to the family...

Greg Gegax: Slap on the wrist.. Community service.. Less than a year in jail

Zach Rusk: i couldnt convict him of murder, maybe a lesser charge but i wouldnt send a man to prison for 25-life for this.

Roddy Miller: He should be reimbursed for the cost of the bullet and given a bonus equal to what it would cost to take the drunk to trial again for DUI.

James Barr: It depends on the circumstances. Was the truck in the road/normal lane, all dark with no lights or flares? Then he should serve some jail time, as he's partially responsible for being dumb. If he had proper precautions like flares or emergency lights on, and was on the edge of the road, then let him go and good riddance to the drunk driver.

Amanda Brennan: Okay, first who was "driving" this broke down truck, while they were pushing It? Second was the kids life worth having them push it instead of waiting for or calling for help? Sorry for the loss of the boys, now the mother is left to raise the little girl alone.

Jason Osborne: Yeah let's go back to the wild west days when vigilante justice was ok. I mean the movies make it look ok. Seriously, murder is murder. There's a reason we have laws. There's a reason our legal system defines those laws. Granted the drunk driver made a horrible mistake. I don't think he deserved to die. If they don't charge the dad for his acts it sets a precedence which leads to a very slippery slope. God forbid your kids make a mistake and wind up dead for it.

The Dori Monson Show on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

Listen to Dori Monson every weekday at 12noon on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. Seattle's News, Seattle's Talk.

Dori Monson on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

  • Dori Monson on KIRO Radio 97.3 FMTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 12noon for The Dori Monson Show.

About the Author


Jillian Raftery is a reporter for KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. She loves the neighborly vibe of the Pacific Northwest and spends as much time as possible outdoors.

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