Shooter in Capital Murder Trial Testifies

Local News

The shooter in a capital murder trial says he killed a Houston man because he was in fear for his life.

He took the stand and in an emotional testimony explained why he did it. And half of the charges he faced have been dismissed.

Gregorio Ramirez testified, “I did it to defend myself.”

Gregorio Ramirez isn’t denying he fired the fatal bullet that killed Jose Filiberto Casillas, on February 19, 2016. On that night, according to testimony, Ramirez and Mayra Camero were drinking at Hot Shots Bar in Harlingen.

Casillas had been cut off from the bartender, and according to testimony was doing cocaine in the men’s restroom. That is where Casillas and Ramirez met for the first time. Ramirez testified the two smoked a cigarette, but were told to put them out. Ramirez put his out, but Casillas did not.

After the two smoked outside, Ramirez offered him a beer back at the bar. When the bar closed, Ramirez and Mayra Camero went Casillas’ hotel room at the Best Western for more beer.

As the night went on, Ramirez testified he took Casillas to buy cocaine. When he was denied the drugs, Ramirez drove back to the hotel. According to testimony, no cocaine and Ramirez calling it quits on the late night drinking, upset Casillas. When they reached the hotel, Casillas, refused to leave and turned violent.

Gregorio Ramirez, “I felt intimated, so I thought I could scare him and tell him to get off, so I reached for my gun underneath my seat and put it on my lap and he started laughing at me.”

After some taunting words, Casillas reached for a gun he claimed he had.

Gregorio Ramirez, “And that’s when it happened, that’s when I shot him.”

According to testimony, Mayra was in the back seat and the two went to his mother’s house.

As previously reported, at 8 a.m. Harlingen Police officers found a Ford pickup matching Ramirez’s burning on a canal bank off Wilson road just west of FM 800.

On Sunday, February 21st, further analysis and evidence led investigators back to the irrigation canal where the body of Jose Filiberto Casillas was recovered from the water.

“I freaked out. I’m not a killer.” Said Gregorio Ramirez

Mayra Camero is expected to be in court on January 9th. She is charged with capital murder, 1st degree murder, arson and engaging in organized criminal activity.

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