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Trial for accused man in fatal carjacking begins

June 8, 2011 3:17:18 PM PDT
The man accused of killing a mother of five during a botched carjacking outside a northeast Harris County cell phone store in 2008 is now set to go on trial for her murder. Investigators say Timoteo Rios stabbed to death Tina Davila after she refused to give up her car because her infant daughter was inside.

A jury was selected today and opening statements began this afternoon. This jury will ultimately be tasked with determining the fate of accused murderer Timoteo Rios.

Rios fled to Mexico, and was extradited only after the state promised not to seek the death penalty. The friends and family of Davila, a mother of five, have been waiting for the final steps toward justice. It was two years after Davila's death the accused killer was arrested.

Prosecutors have store surveillance video that investigators say shows Rios and an accomplice in front of the Cricket store on Uvalde in April 2008. Shortly after, Davila was stabbed to death after resisting a carjacking because her 4-month-old baby daughter was inside the car at the time.

Rios was captured in Guadalajara in August of 2009, but the Mexican government wouldn't release Rios back into U.S. custody because he would face the death penalty. Only after Texas authorities agreed he would not face the death penalty was Rios extradited.

Two of Davila's children say watching the trial will be very emotional for them.

"I knew we would get justice. I knew it would just take time, but I want it to happen sooner. And I hope everything works out for the better," said Davila's daughter, Patricia Mott.

"I think since he took a life, he should give his own life for what he did to our mother," said Peyton Mott, Davila's son.

In opening statements, the defense said it will not argue whether Rios stabbed Davila, but will raise the question as to if there was any intent to kill her.

Kennedy Escoto, the man who drove the getaway car, was convicted of aggravated robbery and sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Stay with Eyewitness News and abc13.com for the latest on this story.


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