Families of Victims Protest At Courthouse
On Monday morning, family members and friends of David Espinoza and Angel Balderas gathered at the Navarro County Courthouse to protest the plea agreement of Santiago Solis.
Photo by Stephen Farris, NavCo Chronicle Correspondent and Columnist
Santiago Solis was sentenced to 38 years each for two counts of murder and 4 years each on two probation revocations today in the 13th District Court. The case was set for trial on August 14, but Mr. Solis reached an agreement last week to plead guilty.
According to a press release issued by the Navarro County District Attorney Will Thompson, “The charges stemmed from an incident on January 2, 2022, when Solis followed a car driven by one of the victims, David Espinoza on S. 29th St. in Corsicana. There had been prior altercations between Espinoza and relatives of Solis, including one incident that led to the arrest of four individuals for Aggravated Assault. After some period of following each other around the area, Solis, who was driving a white Chevrolet pickup, and Espinoza, who was driving a white BMW, stopped next to each other on S. 29th St. on the North side of the Sunoco fuel farm.”
According to survivors, Solis promptly pulled out a pistol and started firing into the BMW. Espinoza and Angel Balderas, and a front seat passenger, were both killed instantly but two passengers in the back seat of the BMW survived. The BMW crashed into a gate on the North side of the fuel farm. Corsicana police responded and found several 9 mm bullet casings about 100 yards West of where the BMW crashed. Detectives later learned that Solis had been driving the white Chevrolet pickup and located it at the home of a relative in Rice. The pickup was seized and towed to the Corsicana police department where it was searched by the Texas Rangers.
DA Thompson stated, “In reaching this agreement we considered the wishes of numerous victims and surviving family members together with the evidence that would be admissible in a trial.”
Visiting District Judge HD Black accepted the plea agreement on Monday afternoon after several emotional outbursts by people in attendance.