Life Term or Death Sentence?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 - 8:09am

The verdict is in but the punishment that John Allen Rubio will face is still in the hands of 12 jurors.

State prosecutors are now seeking a death sentence in this second capital murder conviction for Rubio. He was once sentenced to death after the first capital murder trial for the beheading and smothering of he and his common-law wife's three children, but that conviction was overturned.

Defense attorneys are now working to prove that Rubio will not be a threat in the prison system and are pushing for the lesser sentence.

Prosecutors called-up two Brownsville Police Department officers, a Texas Department of Criminal Justice death row prison gurad and a Texas Ranger.

Texas Ranger Rolando Castañeda testified that in his 32 years of working in law enforcement, he had never witnessed a triple homicide like the one Rubio is now convicted of.

"I guess I just never thought parents could be so mean toward their kids," Castañeda said.

He also testified that when he first met Rubio to obtain DNA samples for the case, he did not meet a remorseful parent.

"I saw a young fellow that was laughing and smiling and I walked up to him and said 'Hey the Texas Rangers and Brownsville Police Department are here to execute the search warrant.' There was no indication of remorse," Castañeda said

A TDCJ guard testified that although he did not consider Rubio a violent prisoner during his time on death row, he was known to start fires.

"It can be dangerous to us employees and other prisoners," Peters.

Peters also testified that those sentenced to death row live in a prison cell alone and get minmal contact with family members. He testified that those sentenced to life terms are sometimes paired with a cell mate and have more privileges to visitation than death row inmates and recreational activities within the prison system.

Once again a convicted triple murderer, Rubio got a few slaps on the back from his defense attorneys and then walked out of the courtroom with his head bowed down.

Jurors will continue to listen to testimony tomorrow which they will use to decide the appropriate punishment for Rubio.

Reporting in Hidalgo County, Daisy Martinez, News Center 23.

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