Opening statements begin in trial of man accused of killing UNM baseball star


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Two years after a University of New Mexico player was shot to death outside a Nob Hill bar, his accused killer is now on trial. Darian Bashir is on trial for the murder of Jackson Weller. Surveillance video was played in court and shows the moment Weller was shot and falls to the ground. The defense says even though you can see what happened, you can’t hear what was said between the two men.

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“If you’ll notice in the video, Jackson was walking away and Bashir called Jackson back towards him, he concealed his gun he turned and he fired,” the prosecution said.

In May 2019, Weller was out with some friends and fellow teammates at Imbibe nightclub when prosecutors say they got into a fight with a group of men that Bashir knew. Bashir wasn’t there but they say he showed up later and confronted Weller asking him if he was the guy in the fight, then shot him in the chest.

However, the defense says it was Weller and his friends who were the aggressors, and Bashir was threatened as the UNM athletes were walking toward him directing “emotionally charged slurs” at him.

After opening statements, witness testimony began with the then-owner of Imbibe nightclub. It was revealed in court that Bashir called his girlfriend after the shooting to hide the license plate of the car he was in at the time.

A friend of the girlfriend testified that she helped move the car but had no idea it was used during a crime. Bashir’s girlfriend was arrested on a bench warrant for her refusal to testify in the case but she’s now expected to take the stand.

Bashir has been connected to several other shootings in the past including a drive-by shooting where bullets almost hit officers as well as shooting outside the downtown bars, two years before Weller was killed.

Bashir was supposed to go on trial in August but a mistrial was declared because attorneys were not able to seat a full jury. This trial is expected to continue through November 12.

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