A Lubbock grand jury indicted two men for capital murder on Wednesday. Cousins Gabriel and Joe Gonzales are accused of killing 21-year-old Colin Schafer, following a random robbery about two months ago.
Wednesday's grand jury indictment means both Gabriel and Joe Gonzales now face a capital murder trial, that means one of them could face life in prison and the other could get the death penalty. On Tuesday, Gabriel Gonzales, who was 16 at the time of the murder, was certified to stand trial as an adult. He can't be sentenced to death, but his 19 year-old cousin could.
Meanwhile, the indictment brings new information to light about the killing of a Texas Tech student two months ago. According to police reports, on August 14th, Gabriel Gonzales and his cousin Joe Gonzales went looking for someone to rob. They drove around, as they had done before, until they spotted a white Jeep Cherokee.
The Gonzales cousins followed the Jeep to the residence where Texas Tech student Colin Schafer lived, then Gabriel got in his jeep, pointed a gun at him, and told him to go get money. "Every indication we have indicates that he was cooperative with the demands while being held at gunpoint by Gabriel Gonzales," says Corporal Chris Breunig, an LPD Detective.
Then, Colin Schafer drove to an ATM at 50th and Slide Road. According to police reports, he was told to pull out all the money he could. He got $300 out. Gabriel Gonzales says he never said a word, but he shot him twice in the side. "Colin later died as a result of these injuries. From what Joe has talked about in connection with this, there was no reason for Gabriel to shoot Colin Schafer in the manner that he did, that Gabriel just consciously and cold bloodedly made the decision to shoot," says Breunig.
About a week later, Lubbock Police say the cousins shot up a house in an alleged drug deal gone wrong. No one was hurt, but the shooting ultimately linked the cousins to Schafer's murder. "They left evidence behind at that second shooting that was ballistically linked back to the homicide of Colin Schafer," says Breunig.
Gabriel cannot be sentenced to death because of his age, but he could be sentenced to life. If Joe is found guilty of capital murder, in the state of Texas, as a participant, he could be sentenced to death. For now, the two men wait for their arraignment, then eventually, after pre-trials, a capital murder trial date will be set.