While attempting to rob Jesse Lee Richards, a Texas Army veteran, David Alexander Zuniga and his half-brother Daniel Jeremy Torres Jr. killed him. At 10 p.m. on December 20, 2015, Jesse was waiting for a bus on the 400 block of Porter Street. When a jury found David Alexander Zuniga, 18, guilty of the murder of a 28-year-old man found lying in a pool of blood on Porter Street, the case was closed.
Army veteran Jesse Lee Richards was killed in a seemingly random shooting at a bus stop in San Antonio, Texas. Before tragedy struck him during Christmas in 2015, the young man was searching for a new start in the city.
‘True Conviction: Life is a Battlefield,’ a documentary on Investigation Discovery, dives into the authorities’ efforts to uncover Jesse’s killers and the subsequent legal proceedings. So if you’re interested in learning more, we’ve got you covered.
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What Caused Jesse Lee Richards’ Death?
Jesse was born in February 1987 and has been raised by his grandparents since he was two years old because his mother was unable to care for him. The 28-year-old served in the Army for three tours in Iraq before being honourably discharged. Jesse has been suffering with mental health and substance abuse concerns since his return, according to his family, but was looking forward to a new chapter in his life.
Jesse had relocated from Georgetown, Texas, to San Antonio at the time of the event. On December 20, 2015, he had only been working at a local restaurant for three days when he was murdered.
After 10 p.m., officers responded to reports of a guy bleeding out on the street. Jesse was found with a gunshot wound to the chest near the bus stop. Unfortunately, he was dead by the time he was carried to the local hospital, despite efforts to revive him.
Who Killed Jesse Lee Richards and Why?
Surveillance footage from a local business initially revealed two young men in the vicinity who were suspected of being persons of interest. When Jesse was shot to death, he had left work and was waiting for a bus to return home. Witness statements led to the arrest of two persons in April 2016: Daniel Jeremy Torres Jr and David Alexander Zuniga. They began to create a case against the two after that because they were half-brothers.
When David was detained in April 2016, he was only 17 years old. During interrogation, he acknowledged to planning a heist to obtain money so that his other brother, Juan Torres, could pay his rent and utilities.
He was accompanied by Daniel, and the two of them set off with a rifle. During the interview, David acknowledged to being the one who pulled the trigger on Jesse during a botched heist. Daniel admitted to being at the crime site but denied any involvement in the murder.
During the trial, however, things drastically shifted. When David was on trial, he testified in his own defence, alleging that Daniel was the one who shot Jesse. David went on to say that he would assume responsibility for the shooting because he was afraid of Daniel.
He said that if he told the authorities about who killed Jesse, Daniel would kill him and their mother. This contradicted David’s original police statement, in which he stated at least twice that he shot Jesse.
Juan, the third brother, also testified that Daniel and David took his.32-caliber revolver with them as they left the house. He claimed to have seen the incident and stated Daniel opened fire while David was sitting next to Jesse.
Juan also alleged that Daniel had intimidated him and that he was originally afraid to discuss the murder. Later in Daniel’s trial, David repeated his testimony, but the defence attempted to cast doubt on his changing statements and questioned Juan’s testimony.
What Has Happened to David Zuniga and Daniel Torres and Where are They Now?
David was found guilty of the murder of Jesse in January 2017 and was sentenced to life in prison with the chance of parole after 30 years. According to records, he is still being held at the W. J. “Jim” Estelle Unit in Huntsville, Texas. In 2046, David will be eligible for parole.
Daniel, who was 21 at the time, was also found guilty of murder in May 2017. He was, nevertheless, condemned to 65 years in prison. He is being held at the George Beto Unit in Tennessee Colony, Texas, where he is serving his term. Daniel will be eligible for release in 2046, much like his brother.