AUSTIN (KXAN) - Opening arguments are scheduled to begin Tuesday in the capital murder trial of Jose Alfonso Aviles, who is accused of killing two Austin women last year because he was upset that his daughter was romantically involved with one of them.
Aviles is charged with capital murder in the shooting deaths of Maria Hurtado, 57, and her 24-year-old daughter, Norma. The wThe capital murder trial for a father accused of killing his daughter's lover began Tuesday morning in a Travis County courtroom.
Norma Hurtado and her mother, Maria, were both shot to death at their home on Dixie Drive on April, 18, 2011.
Aviles was arrested the day in San Antonio after the killings. Police said at the time that Aviles was angry that his daughter had been in a relationship with Norma Hurtado. They also said he had previously threatened Norma and that the two families had exchanged words.
Prosecutors have said the killings might have been motivated by Aviles' disapproval of a relationship between his daughter, Lydia, and Norma.
The killings sparked protests and rallies from groups who claimed the crime was driven by hate.
During opening arguments, prosecutors told jurors that Aviles went to the Hurtado's home and fired 14 shots that killed the mother and daughter. Lydia Aviles and her 4-year-old daughter were also inside the home at the time.
Defense attorneys told the jury that by law, Aviles is not guilty of capital murder because he did not intend to kill Maria and that a lesser charge of murder would be more appropriate.
Aviles would be eligible for parole after 30 years if convicted of murder, but would not be eligible for parole with a capital murder conviction.
The defense also made the argument that Aviles was not motivated by hate of his daughter's relationship with another woman, but his frustration was with his daughter sneaking out of the house and leaving her child behind to see Norma.
Lydia Aviles also testified Tuesday morning about her relationship with Norma.
She said that Norma and her began dating when she was 16 after they met while working at Wendy's.
She admitted her parents and Norma had a heated conversation when discussing the relationship.
The frantic 911 call was played for the jury and they heard Lydia hysterically screaming for help as she tried to help Norma after she had been shot. The dispatcher was heard giving Lydia instructions on how to stop the bleeding.
Jose Aviles sat leaned back in his chair and listened to a Spanish translation of the testimony through headphones.
In afternoon testimony, Aviles' son Humberto testified that he and his father drove to the Hurtado home to speak with Norma and Lydia. After words were exchanged between Aviles and Norma, Humberto said his father reached for his waistband.
"Automatically, I didn't know what was going to happen," said Humberto. "I was so scared that I was running away."
The medical examiner testified that Norma Hurtado suffered 20 shotgun wounds while her mother suffered one fatal gunshot wound to the chin that severed her spine.
Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty.
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