Intent critical to jury’s decision
had killed both women but said Norma had been the target of his anger. “Maria was caught in the crossfire,” he later said.
The difference is pivotal to whether the jury can convict Aviles of capital murder, which comes with a sentence of life without parole, as opposed to murder, which can result in a sentence of five to 99 years in prison.
In the courtroom Tuesday, Travis County jurors saw photos of the women as they were found dead in their Southeast Austin home on April 18.
Satish Chundru, deputy chief medical examiner for the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office, said Norma had 20 gunshot wounds.
Maria received one gunshot wound to the chin that hit her spinal cord, causing her to fall and fracture her head, Chundru said. The stippling around her chin indicated something may have blocked the bullet, but it also was consistent with someone walking up to her and shooting her, he testified.
Phelan Perryman, who was visiting his brother a block away from where the Hurtados were shot, told jurors he heard a series of shots, then saw a dark green SUV without a front license plate leaving the area.
Perryman said he later told police that a vehicle they had recovered during the crime investigation appeared to be the same one he had seen.
Aviles’ daughter, Lidia Aviles, testified that she began dating Norma Hurtado as a teenager. She said she moved in with the Hurtados not long after she turned 18 and was relieved that she could be with her girlfriend.
Agapito Hurtado, Maria Hurtado’s husband and Norma’s father, testified through a translator that days before the killings, a man he identified as Aviles’ son came to his home looking for Lidia and making threats. Hurtado said he told the man to go away.
Agapito Hurtado said he was working in BryanCollege Station when he got a call saying his wife and daughter had been killed.
Aviles’ 4-year-old granddaughter also was in the home at the time of the shootings.
Jose Aviles killed two.