It was the defense’s turn to question the eyewitness Friday morning in the capital murder case against Jesus Angel Rebollar, allowing the opportunity to possibly sow doubt into the eyewitness account that placed Rebollar at the scene of the crime.
The witness, a middle-aged man, returned to the witness stand Friday morning after giving his account on Thursday of what he saw on the evening of Nov. 6, 2016 — the day Hector Garcia Jr., 41, and his son, Julian Garcia, 3, were killed by gunfire.
He testified he was driving home with his wife when he came across Hector Garcia’s blue, Chevy pickup truck upon questioning by the state prosecutor, 229th Assistant District Attorney Gilberto Hernandez-Solano.
Shortly after, he saw another vehicle — a blue Ford, pickup truck — in front of the Chevy whose passengers, the witness said, he saw fire upon Hector’s truck.
Rebollar’s defense attorney, O. Rene Flores, questioned what the witness saw, asking him to recall how far away he was from the intersection and where he saw Hector’s truck end up.
The witness said he last saw Garcia’s Chevy truck, which had already been fired upon when the witness arrived, drive up farther along La Sagunada Road and end up on the right side of the street where he then saw the Ford truck follow and park beside it, to its left, and begin firing on them again.
Using photos of the crime scene, Flores showed that Garcia’s vehicle actually ended up on the left side of the road.
The witness responded by pointing out that the trail of car oil on the ground began on the right side
Flores also said no bullet casings were found on the left side of the road — where the shooters allegedly were — and posited that maybe the witness didn’t see what he thought he saw.
However, the witness was adamant.
“I saw what I saw, I’m very certain, and I’ll repeat it again,” he said in Spanish.
Flores then honed in the witness’s need to attend to attend to his as the situation was unfolding, pointing to the witness’s previous statements in which he said his wife began to panic and needed to be calmed down.
To underscore this, Flores played the audio of the 911 call the witness made where his wife can be heard whimpering in the background.
Flores then asked about his interview with Lt. Roland Villarreal with the Texas Rangers. The first interview — just hours after the incident — was an hour long during which he provided a description of one of the suspects.
During the second interview two days later — which lasted approximately five minutes — Villarreal showed the witness three photos. One of them was a group photo that included Rebollar, the second was a photo from Rebollar’s Facebook profile, and the third was an image of another individual which the witness dismissed.
Flores questioned whether the witness thought the Rangers already believed Rebollar to be the suspect, to which the witness said he couldn’t remember.
“They only showed you one person with the description that you provided,” Flores said.
“Yes,” the witness replied.
However, upon questioning from the Hernandez-Solano, the state prosecutor, the witness testified that the Rangers did not tell him the suspected shooter would be in the photos and that his identification of Rebollar was based off of what he say the day of the shooting.
The witness was excused shortly after and testimony concluded early for the day.
The trial is scheduled to resume Monday morning as the state continues to call witnesses.
229th District Attorney Omar Escobar said the state’s case will likely take all of next week.