Davila stands trial for murder
Jury hears case in 2007 slaying
By LPR Staff
Another chapter of what some call a “long-standing family feud” and others call an escalated quarrel between two men is playing out in the Caldwell County courts this week.
A jury trial began on Monday for Dewayne Jesse Davila, 28, who is accused of murder in connection with the
2007 shooting death of John Edward “Eddie” Deleon, 24.
Both the prosecution and the defense agree that confrontations between Davila and Deleon”s family happened throughout the day on June 9, 2007. However, Tuesday”s opening arguments before 421st Judicial District Judge Todd A. Blomerth revealed different theories on those confrontations and their ultimate outcome.
“This case is not “who-done-it,”” District Attorney Reagan “Trey” Hicks told the panel of nine women and three men. “This is a case of a cold-blooded, drive-by shooting… and the only thing Eddie Deleon did that day was get killed.”
Defense attorney Rip Collins painted a different picture, suggesting Davila and his family had been antagonized throughout the day and that Deleon”s death, while tragic, was out of Davila”s hands.
“There was a confrontation [early that afternoon], and he blew it off,” Collins said. “Later, [an unidentified person] came to the Davilas” home, “gave them the finger,” and drove away, and they blew it off. Then, when they were driving by [a Deleon family barbecue], someone threw at least three bottles at their car.”
Collins said Davila and his father, Jesse Manuel Davila, 50, drove back to the Brazos Street neighborhood to find the address of the party so they could make a report to the police. There, he said, the elder Davila got out of the car and fired a .410 shotgun at Deleon, striking him in the chest and killing him.
Deleon was pronounced dead at Seton – Edgar B. Davis Hospital later that evening, but Hicks said on opening that the gunshot likely killed him before paramedics arrived on the scene.
Collins said his client was unaware his father had the gun, and never intended for anyone to get hurt. Hicks alleges witness heard Davila tell his father to, “shoot him, Dad!”
Investigating officers from the Lockhart Police Department testified on Tuesday and on Wednesday morning.
Though the trial was originally scheduled for four days, attorneys expect the trial will last through this week, and possibly into next week. The charge of Murder carries a sentence of five to 99 years in prison.
The elder Davila has not yet been brought to trial in connection with the shooting.