Footwear was the main topic of testimony during a capital murder trial Friday in the 122nd District Court.

Three days into the trial of a Galveston man charged in connection with the home-invasion slayings of a Texas City resident and his teenager daughter in 2011, witnesses testified on the particulars of their findings during the subsequent investigation.

Devin Stasicha, a forensic scientist with the Texas Department of Public Safety crime lab in Houston, testified investigators analyzed more than 15 pairs of shoes and compared their treads to prints left at the crime scene.

Two pairs of shoes, including one owned by defendant Broderick Dewayne Batiste, matched prints left at the scene, Stasicha told the jury.

A Galveston County grand jury in 2014 indicted Batiste, 40, also known as Big-O, on capital murder charges in connection with the shooting deaths of Jorge Vargas, 33, and Miranda Vargas, 15, at the family’s home.

Forensic experts gave most of the testimony Friday. Many witnesses have already come before the jury, but a final witness can’t make it until Monday, so the trial should conclude either late Monday or early Tuesday, First Assistant Attorney Kevin Petroff said Friday.

Attorneys representing Bastiste, meanwhile, asked questions emphasizing the inconclusiveness of some of the findings.

The Vargases weren’t a random target, police said. The home was a known drug distribution or holding point and was targeted because of the belief cash was inside, Texas City police told The Daily News in a February 2012 interview.

Vargas’ son escaped the shootings by running to a nearby fire station. The boy, then 11, banged on the door and firefighters called a police dispatcher.

A second man, Dominique Alonzo Stokes, 39, was already sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after pleading guilty to capital murder in 2018 in connection to the killings, court records show.

Ballistic tests on a semi-automatic pistol in Stokes’ possession when Austin police arrested him in December 2011 matched the weapon used in the killings, Texas City police told The Daily News in 2012.

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230; matt.degrood@galvnews.com


(1) comment

Bailey Jones

"Big-O"? I guess it was bound to happen - that all the good gangsta names were already taken.

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