ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A jury has reached a verdict in the trial of the man charged with killing a UNM baseball player. Jurors found Darian Bashir guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Jackson Weller. On Tuesday morning, the jury saw surveillance video of a man prosecutors identify as Bashir, shooting and killing Weller in 2019.
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Prosecutors say he shot Weller because he got into an argument with his friends. However, Bashir told jurors on Monday that he felt threatened and claims Weller approached him first. The defense has also claimed Weller used “emotionally charged slurs” against Bashir.
Meanwhile, the news of the verdict brought Weller’s family to tears. Bashir’s family, with their heads down after the verdict, was also in tears. KRQE News 13 spoke with both the district attorney and Bashir’s attorney after the verdict.
“I was particularly troubled by the kind of defense tactics that were taken in this case. I think it was disgraceful to try and sully the reputation and the memory of this young man. I think the jury saw through that, frankly, disgraceful attempt to blame the victim,” said Bernalillo County District Attorney Raul Torrez.
“Clearly, we’re disappointed but we remain to have our confidence in the justice system, and today you saw that play out in the way that it’s supposed to play out,” said defense attorney Robert Aragon.
Bashir was also convicted of tampering with evidence for taking off after the shooting and asking his girlfriend to hide the license plate of the car he was in at the time. Bashir’s attorney says they are going to review the record and then decide whether to appeal.
Bashir will be back to learn his sentence in January. He faces life in prison.
Weller’s family wouldn’t say what they want Bashir’s sentence to be but said they can move forward now that this chapter of the case is over. “I think we’re ready to move forward to the three of us and unfortunately that’s without Jackson and it’s time,” Weller’s mother said.
“We lost the rock of our family but we’re just happy that today justice was served,” another family member said outside of the courthouse on Tuesday.
Bashir’s violent criminal history includes charges in 2017 for reportedly shooting and injuring a man as bars were closing in downtown Albuquerque. That case was dismissed because the victim didn’t testify.
Just months before Weller’s killing, Bashir was accused of shooting out of a vehicle in southeast Albuquerque. There is a hearing set in that case next year.