Richard Acosta is the father of Abel Acosta who went into a Garland Texas convenience store and murdered three teens. Now Richard Acosta has been found guilty of three counts of capital murder and will spend the rest of his life in prison. According to court documents Richard Acosta drove Abel Acosta to the Garland Texas store knowing that his son was armed and what he planned to do. Abel Acosta would walk into the store and shoot and kill three teenagers, Xavier Gonzalez, 17-year-old Rafael Garcia, and 16-year-old Ivan Noyala, before leaving the store and getting back in the vehicle. It is believed that Richard Acosta would help Abel Acosta escape and to this day Abel remains on the run.
Richard Acosta More News
A Dallas County jury found Richard Acosta guilty of capital murder in the shooting death of three teenagers at a convenience store in Garland, even though he didn’t fire a shot.
Acosta’s son, Abel Acosta, has been identified as the shooter.
Richard Acosta drove his son to and from the convenience store on the day of the shooting, Dec. 26, 2021.
14-year-old Xavier Gonzalez, 17-year-old Rafael Garcia, and 16-year-old Ivan Noyala were killed.
Abel Acosta is still on the run.
Richard Acosta was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The jury spent just over 3 hours deliberating.
As the guilty verdict was announced, Acosta did not appear to show any emotion.
Some of his family members began to cry and hurried out of the courtroom to try and compose themselves.
In a courtroom where the focus was on getting justice for victims and the community, family members said they only got some justice, as a father is headed to prison, but his son – the accused gunman – is still nowhere to be found.
Following the jury announcing its decision, family members of the victims got the chance to speak to Acosta directly
“I watched my brother get shot ten times. I watched Abel look at him cowering over him, covered with a chair and shot him ten times. Someone he had no relation to and I watched his father plead ignorance to his actions,” said Ruby Herrera, Xavier Gonzalez’s sister. “We didn’t realize how much of an impact [Xavier] had until we lost him.”
“Not in a million years did he deserve what your son did, along with your actions that you took to aid him. I don’t think anyone deserves to have life taken away in a matter of seconds the way my brother’s was,” said Maria Padilla, Rafael Garcia’s sister.
Ivan Noyola’s uncle also addressed Acosta. Speaking in Spanish, he told Acosta that his actions that night left a hole in the family’s heart.
Half justice is how family members and law enforcement described the feeling as Acosta heads to life imprisonment with his son still on the lam.
“I will agree with the family that we have gotten to half justice. To get to full justice, we need Abel Acosta in custody, and we need help getting him in custody. Our mission is not done until that happens,” Garland Police Chief Jeff Bryan.
Garland police noted that there is $10,000 in reward money in this case to find Abel.
Ultimately, the jury believed the prosecution’s version of events, that Richard Acosta helped his son Abel “case” the Garland Texaco where Abel fatally shot the three teens.
Acosta served as the getaway driver and then helped his son escape, possibly out of the country.
Despite taking the stand in his own defense, jurors did not believe his claims that Acosta was oblivious to his son’s actions.
“I think that video speaks for itself. They didn’t need to tell them what we all saw in that video, and I think when you have so many detailed answers or explanations for something it just begins to feel like a lie,” said lead prosecutor Stephanie Fargo
“Unfortunately, the video you can infer, you can speculate that he was watching. He said he wasn’t, they obviously did not believe him. That’s why we try cases,” said defense attorney Heath Harris. “I hope and pray that they do catch Abel Acosta. Maybe he will really tell them what happened that day.”
Harris said they’re hopeful Abel turns himself in, believing his story could change the fate of his father.
“It can make a difference if Abel Acosta admits that Richard Acosta did not know what he was going to do, that when he went to the car Richard Acosta was cowering down in his seat,” Harris said.
Acosta still claims he has no idea where his son is.
“This is half-done. I’m relieved of the guilty verdict, and we received this amount of justice. I think he deserves exactly what he got by the law which is he’ll never come out of prison,” said Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot.
Officials said they don’t expect any additional cooperation from Acosta.
“He could have done that before now, if he wanted to. He chose not to. He rolled the dice,” Creuzot added.
During closing arguments the prosecution argued that there is no way that Acosta could not have known what his son was doing.
On the stand Thursday, Acosta faced questions from the defense team and prosecutors.
He testified that he drove his son to the convenience store, but was listening to the radio and never saw his son enter the store or shoot anyone.
He said he ducked down as the gunfire erupted. Next thing he knew, Abel jumped into the backseat, sitting directly behind him, and told him to drive.
“He says, ‘Go, get out. Somebody is shooting. Get me out of here,’” Richard recalled.
Richard said he does not know where his son is.
“We don’t know if he’s alive. Nobody knows if he’s even breathing or anything. Nobody knows,” Acosta said.
He went on to express sympathy to the families of the victims.
“It is the most horrible thing. I can’t imagine how those families feel. We all lost a son that day. I will never get to see my son again,” he said through tears. “He’s going to spend the rest of his life in prison.”
Richard went on to say that if his son is caught, he should go to prison for killing the three teens, while also maintaining he had nothing to do with it
Garland’s police chief says the case is still open and the search for Abel continues.
The defense team plans to file an appeal.