It's a gruesome crime with a miraculous ending of survival. Two years ago, two Bryan brothers were shot multiple times and left for dead in Houston after meeting up with a man who claimed he wanted to buy tire rims they were selling off Craigslist. It's been a long road to recovery for the brothers, and add to that a verdict and sentence last week that upsets them.
"February 23, 2012 is a date Bryan native Jason Cabrera will never forget.
“I got shot on the right side of the face and the bullet cracked the top of my jaw, shattered my jaw and now I have titanium plate with screws in my jaw,” Cabrera said.
Scars, pain and memories are reminders that Cabrera and his 18-year-old brother will live with for the rest of their lives. Cabrera was 21 at the time, and says he knew something wasn't right after meeting up with Deaundre Garner and Gary Moore of Texas City.
"Once he showed me the money and I knew it wasn't real money, I had to step back and I knew that was the wrong thing to do,” Cabrera explained. Seconds later...
“I turned around to a gun in my face and the next thing you know I saw a flashing light," said Cabrera.
“Everything happened so fast. I thought I had gotten punched in the face,” Cabrera added.
But when he came back from unconsciousness, his nightmare wasn't over.
“Hearing more gunshots and hearing my baby brother getting shot; in my head it was just like, 'this is real, and it’s not a dream.' " he said.
Gary Moore allegedly shot 16-year-old Alex Hernandez in the back.
“They shot him once and then heard him groan and moan so they went back to finish him off and shot him two more times,” said mother, Monica Cabrera.
“I thought he was gone. And I was more mad than anything until he started talking and the only thing I knew to do was call my mother,” said Cabrera.
"He goes, 'mom, we've just been shot. We're dying and we love you.' I just started yelling and crying. It's hard to control it because I always remember,” Cabrera said crying.
The family has waited patiently for nearly two years to find justice. The trial ended last week. Garner took a plea deal last January and got 15 years in prison; Moore went to trial and only got two years in state jail for felony theft.
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office said, “Deundre Garner and Gary Moore were both indicted on two charges of Aggravated Robbery, one charge for Jason Cabrera and one for Alex Hernandez. Aggravated Robbery is a first degree felony, carrying a range of punishment of between 5 years and 99 years. In January of 2013, Deundre Garner pled guilty to both charges and was sentenced to 15 years in prison on both cases (sentences to run concurrently). Last week, we went to trial on both of Gary Moore's charges. Felony theft was a lesser included offense of the Aggravated Robbery. The jury believed that Deundre Garner was the shooter. Gary Moore's girlfriend, Maddison Hanks, testified that Moore had no idea that Garner had a gun or that Garner planned on shooting anyone. Based on their doubt as to whether Moore knew that Garner had a gun or intended to use a gun, they found him not guilty of Aggravated Robbery and guilty only of the lesser included offense of felony theft. Theft of the value of the property stolen made this a State Jail Felony offense, meaning the range of punishment was between 6 months and 2 years in prison. After the jury found him guilty, the defense attorney agreed to a sentence of 2 years in prison.”
Cabrera says for his recovery, he's found strength in his faith, but that the verdict is something he'll never understand.
“Why give someone a chance to do it all over again. He might not do it to us again, but he might get back on Craigslist again and what if this time he kills them?” questioned Cabrera.
The Harris County District Attorney's office says it is disappointed in the verdict and sentencing of Moore, who will spend only two years in prison