DA Press Release – Seventy Year Sentence for Domestic Violence Murder

On July 13, 2011, a Montgomery County Jury convicted 65 year old Jesus Salas Leon of the murder of his wife of 40 years, Eufemia Bautista.  They then sentenced Mr. Leon to seventy years in prison for the crime.  Judge Michael Mayes imposed the sentence.  Mr. Leon will not be eligible for parole until he has served 30 years in prison.

Jesus Salas Leon

Prosecutors Joel Daniels and Liah Olson presented evidence to the jury that Ms. Bautista had been separated from the defendant for about a month and had recently told him that she would not move back with him.  Through family member witnesses, the State presented evidence that on February 16, 2010 the defendant rode his bicycle approximately two miles to the home where the victim was living and entered the home with a pistol in his hand.  The State also presented evidence that five shots were fired, two of which struck the victim.

 In his recorded police interrogation, the defendant repeatedly claimed that the shooting was not intentional, but that the weapon had discharged during a struggle between himself and the victim. 

Forensic Pathologist Dr. Sparks Veasey testified that the bullet that caused the victim’s death entered the left shoulder and travelled downwards, striking the victim in the heart.  Dr. Veasey also testified that the victim suffered a non-fatal tangential bullet wound to the top of her head.  Calvin Story, an expert firearms examiner called as a State witness, testified that the pistol in question had a 4-5 pound trigger pull indicating that an accidental discharge was not plausible. 

The jury found the defendant guilty in about an hour.  Deliberations on the seventy year sentence took about an hour and a half.  “Domestic violence murders are the most difficult to predict and to prevent,” stated District Attorney Brett Ligon.  “However, we hope that the family of the victim has some closure now that Mr. Leon will spend the rest of his life in prison, where he belongs.  Our office is committed to combating domestic violence in all its forms, and this case proves that Montgomery County juries support that cause.”

*For further information please contact Joel Daniels at (936) 539-7800

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