by ABC-7 Reporter/Anchor Veronique Masterson
EL PASO, Texas — The fate of a man accused of shooting and killing his wife and her boyfriend now lies in the hands of a jury. Fabian Hernandez is charged with capital murder in the shooting deaths of his wife, 28-year-old Renee Urbina Hernandez, and her 24-year-old boyfriend Arturo Fonseca three years ago.
The jurynow has to decide if Hernandez is guilty or not.
He is charged with capital murder but the jury can also find him guilty of the lesser charges of murder and manslaughter.
Wednesday afternoon the courtroom was packed with loved ones of the victim.
Prosecutors told the jury to consider all the circumstantial evidence.
The evidence “overwhelmingly shows the shooter is the defendant,” said Assistant District Attorney Denise Butterworth.
Defense attorney Edy Payan responded in the defense’s closing quote, “What circumstantial evidence there is, it’s weak and unreliable.”
Then defense lawyer Jaime Gandara told jurors there is “no proof of the identity of the shooter or shooters.”
After that, prosecutor John Briggs asked jurors to consider “if not Fabian, then who? Who goes and shoots his ex-wife, separated wife, estranged wife? Who?”
The jury began deliberating just after 3 p.m. Jurors did have some questions as they deliberated. They asked to have all the evidence, to which the judge agreed.
They also asked to have the testimony from one of Hernandez’s friends. Judge Angie Juarez Barill said state law does not permit that.
If convicted, Hernandez could face the death penalty.
Wednesday morning, the prosecution wrapped up their case after calling two witnesses, and the defense began about 10:15 a.m. They questioned a woman who lives near the home where the murders occurred in the 200 block of Pyrite.
The woman said she was outside with her boyfriend on the day of the murders when she heard gunshots that came after she heard about three or four minutes of arguing.
She said she ran down the block, saw the bodies and ran home. She said she did not call police at that time but later gave a statement to investigators.
The second witness for the defense was Fabian Hernandez’s father Francisco Hernandez. He testified the gun linked to the crime was in his home before and after the murders. He said it belonged to Fabian’s brother.
Hernandez’s father told defense attorneys that there was no lock on the door where the gun was kept, so it was possible that anyone coming in or out of the house could have taken the gun.
During cross-examination, prosecutors asked if someone could have taken the gun before the shooting, committed the crime then put it back.
“I guess so,” he said after some hesitation.
Francisco Hernandez said he knew the gun was in the home and willingly let police take it.
Look for updates on the trial on KVIA.com and on ABC-7’s later newscasts.