DALLAS (AP) — A Texas man has been convicted of capital murder in the fatal shooting of three teenagers by the man’s then-14-year-old son.
Richard Acosta, 34, was convicted Friday by a jury in Dallas of capital murder for the 2021 shooting deaths of Xavier Gonzalez, 14; Ivan Noyala, 16; and Rafael Garcia, 17, the day after Christmas. A 15-year-old newly hired cook was injured in the shooting and has recovered.
Acosta testified that he did not know his son, Abel Acosta, had a gun or had shot anyone, only that the teenager got into his vehicle and told his father to drive away because someone was shooting.
Abel Acosta disappeared shortly after the shooting and authorities say he remains at large and is considered armed and dangerous.
Prosecutors argued that Richard Acosta sought to dispose of evidence and tried to move his family from Garland.
Richard Acosta, who surrendered to police days after the shooting and was indicted nearly one year ago, said his son disappeared later the night of the shooting.
“We are only halfway to justice,” according to a statement on social media by the Garland Police Department that said authorities would persist in their search. “We will not stop until Abel Acosta is captured.”
Richard Acosta testified that he does not know where his son is.
Acosta, who faces life without parole because prosecutors did not seek the death penalty, was convicted under a Texas law that allows accomplices to be charged even if they did not commit the actual crime.