The trial for the man accused of fatally shooting Mesquite police officer Richard Houston in 2021 continues this week.
Prosecutors warned jurors on Tuesday recordings of the shooting would be difficult to watch.
“You folks are going to see the murder of Richard Houston as if you’re standing beside him,” said prosecutor Jason Hermus.
Dash camera and body camera videos recorded Houston’s final moments of life on Dec. 3, 2021.
Jamie Jaramillo is accused of gunning down the officer.
It began with a confrontation in a grocery store parking lot where Jaramillo’s wife and daughter caught him with his alleged mistress. The woman worked with both husband and wife at a nearby plant nursery. Rumors had been swirling that they had been having an affair.
Videos showed Houston responding to reports of a disturbance in the parking lot. He briefly spoke to Jaramillo’s daughter and wife and noticed a truck leaving the scene.
Houston approached the truck and is heard telling the driver to stop. The driver is seen reversing and then parking. Within seconds the driver gets out and fires several shots toward the officer.
Jaramillo then shoots himself but survives his wound.
Jaramillo’s daughter took the stand and became emotional recalling how she ran to help both injured men. She reportedly apologized to the dying officer for her father’s actions, though it is not heard in the videos presented to jurors.
“The one issue is going to be what did this gentleman know in regards to who he was firing at,” said defense attorney Lalon Peale. “Is he in a fog of some type?”
Jaramillo’s defense will try to convince jurors that the defendant did not realize who he was shooting. The chaotic scene included confrontations in person and over the phone, including with the alleged mistress’s own husband.
The woman also took the stand and testified how Jaramillo’s wife began banging on her windows. Fearing for her life, she said she yelled out that she had called the police and later saw the officer arrive with his flashing lights on.
Jaramillo held his head down as another officer’s body camera video showed him rushing to help his fallen officer, searching for a bullet hole as others started CPR trying to revive Houston. The unresponsive officer was then carried to a nearby squad car to be rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Several jurors, fellow officers and Houston’s wife of nearly 20 years began to shed tears at the graphic images.
If convicted of capital murder, Jaramillo would automatically be sentenced to life in prison. Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty in this case.
Jaramillo is an undocumented migrant. If he is found not guilty, he could receive a lesser sentence and be deported.