Investigators and attorneys close a five year murder case. However, family members say they will never forget the pain this ordeal has caused.
NewsChannel 11 was the only station in the courtroom Tuesday afternoon, as Daniel Jimenez Senior pleaded guilty to the 2002 murder of Armando Ybarra.
Ybarra was found stabbed to death in front of St. Elizabeth's Church on Broadway. As part of Tuesday's plea agreement, the state dropped the charges against Jimenez for the 2003 murder of Ernesto Cabrera.
Lubbock District Attorney Matt Powell said, "When it comes down to it we could not prove that case beyond reasonable doubt. I felt that we had evidence to pursue at least some involvement in that murder case that he pled guilty too."
Instead, Jimenez Senior will serve five years in prison for Ybarra's death.
Four men were initially charged with Ybarra's death. That included Daniel Jimenez Senior, his son Daniel Jimenez Junior, Juan Luna and Francisco Calderon. However, Luna died just one day before the trial was set to begin. Calderon is already serving a 20-year sentence for that murder and Jimenez Junior pleaded guilty to manslaughter at an earlier date.
Armando Ybarra's sister spoke with NewsChannel 11. Even though five years have passed, Juanita Ybarra says the pain of her brother's death is still alive in their family.
"The day he died was a day before one of the nephew's birthday and so he has a hard time around his birthday," Juanita said.
Three years after police found the body in front of St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church on Broadway, police charged four men with Ybarra's murder.
Juanita said, "Four men did a lot of damage to a lot of people. I don't think people understand how hard it is when somebody takes something away from you."
At the time of Ybarra's death, his two daughters were 12 and 14. But five years later, the eldest daughter is a now mother with a grandchild her father will never meet.
"My brother has a grandbaby now. She doesn't even get to know him, so that's hard," Juanita added.
Moreover, Juanita says she does not feel justice was served with Jimenez's five-year sentence.
"It's not even a victory. To us it's just a bunch of pain and heartache and they don't even care," Juanita said.
There are 14 brothers and sisters in the Ybarra family. Armando was number seven and sadly is the third sibling in the family to die. It's a death Juanita says did not need to happen.
Murder Suspect Dies Before Trial
A week before he was supposed to stand trial for murder, 51-year-old Juan Luna died of an apparent heart attack. Now, the Lubbock County District Attorney's Office tells us those charges will be dismissed.