Did a 33-year-old man lose his cool and shoot and kill another man during a road rage incident in late 2017, or did he believe his life was in danger when he fired the fatal shot?
These are questions a jury may consider as it sits to hear the case of Fabian Paredes, who is accused of murdering 27-year-old Joshua David Sanchez on Oct. 9, 2017, who was found dead in his vehicle at the intersection of 10th and West McIntyre Street — right outside the courthouse in Edinburg where Paredes now stands trial.
Paredes, who was arrested along with his wife, Jill Rae Hanson-Paredes, four days after the shooting, is charged with a single count of murder for the fatal shooting that police have described as a “road rage” incident.
The Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office did not send her case to a grand jury.
At the time of his arrest, Paredes drove a red pickup truck and was arguing with Sanchez, who was driving a white passenger vehicle, when Paredes is accused of firing in the direction of Sanchez, killing him, according to police.
On Tuesday afternoon, questioning during jury selection indicated that the state, which is represented by Roxanna Salinas and Danica Carman, may expect self-defense arguments while Paredes’ defense team, led by Terry Canales, a state representative, and Austin Oxford, also asked numerous questions about the Second Amendment and self defense.
Salinas asked prospective jurors what they thought was reasonable self defense and asked for feedback on a recent high-profile murder case: Amber Guyger, the former Dallas police officer sentenced to 10 years in prison for shooting and killing a man in his own home, which she thought was her own.
She also asked prospective jurors about two road rage cases and whether they thought those instances were justified.
Canales also honed in on questions about self defense and whether prospective jurors thought they had a right to defend themselves.
“Should you have a right to stand you ground,” Canales asked.
He also prodded prospective jurors about what is justified self defense in situations where a person could not retreat and asked the panel whether they thought there were different levels of road rage, like someone chasing someone and showing the middle finger through a rolled down window.
Canales also asked numerous questions about the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms for self defense.
The trial is anticipated to last four to five days.