Defense, state close as jury deliberates Edinburg murder case

EDINBURG — After approximately five hours of deliberations Monday, the jurors deciding the fate of a man accused of a “road rage” murder had not yet reached a verdict and were sent home for the day.

Hidalgo County Assistant District Attorney Roxanna Salinas and defense attorney Terry Canales made closing arguments in the case of 33-year-old Fabian Paredes, who stands accused of shooting and killing Joshua David Sanchez on Oct. 9, 2017.

Through his attorney, Paredes has maintained throughout the trial, which began last Monday, that he shot Sanchez in self defense after the man followed him for approximately five minutes, shouting and making obscene gestures.

When Paredes and Sanchez were stopped at the light, Paredes’ wife, Jillian Rae-Paredes, testified via a video deposition that Sanchez threatened to kill them before making a sudden movement toward the passenger seat.

That’s when Paredes said he opened fire.

Salinas, for the state, said that storyline is bogus because what Paredes did after the shooting shows he had a guilty conscience.

Within 20 minutes of firing the shot, Paredes had called a law firm specializing in concealed carry licenses while Rae-Paredes searched for hotels, with the couple settling on La Copa Inn at South Padre Island.

In closing, Salinas hammered home that the state believes deadly force wasn’t necessary and that there was no justification for shooting Sanchez solely based on a verbal provocation.

She also reminded the jurors of the civil attorney, Tamara Rodriguez, who witnessed the shooting.

Rodriguez testified that Sanchez was sitting in his car with his hands on the wheel and wasn’t yelling at anyone. She said she would have heard Sanchez yelling through the windows of her office because they are drafty and old.

Canales, the defense attorney, has questioned the reliability of her eye witness testimony.

He also characterized Sanchez as a hothead with road rage issues who was going through a tough time in life.

Deliberations continue Tuesday morning.