A jury has found a North Texas man guilty of capital murder in the fatal shooting and beheading of his roommate and fatal shooting of the roommate's 17-year-old girlfriend as she tried to flee.
The Tarrant County jury deliberated for more than five hours in Fort Worth before finding Hector Acosta-Ojeda guilty of capital murder in the September 2017 killings of Erick Zelaya and 17-year-old Iris Chirinos. Prosecutors will seek the death penalty when testimony begins Wednesday on sentencing. If a jury can't agree on death, Acosta-Ojeda would receive a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without parole.
Prosecutors say Acosta-Ojeda shot Zelaya twice in the head while he slept and left his severed head on a trail near AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
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Police said the body of Chirinos was the second body found in three days after the body of a beheaded man was found not far from the home. Two bodies were found in a shallow grave behind a house.
In 2017 NBC 5 interviewed a man, who asked not to use his name, said he discovered a severed human head on a wooded trail with a note next to it, written in Spanish, that said "respect the group, four are still missing."
The man who found the head was terrified.
"I feel uncomfortable, anxious. I can't sleep. I can't eat. I eat a little and I get sick," the man said in Spanish.