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Tuesday, 12 June 2018 15:26

Jury Hears TX Body Shop Worker’s Testimony in Fatal Hit-and-Run Trial

Written by Gabriel Monte, A-J Media/Lubbock Avalanche-Journal


Testimony began June 5 for the trial of a 38-year-old body shop worker accused of killing a man in a March 2015 hit-and-run collision in East Lubbock, TX.

Anthony Acosta Jr., who is out on bond, was charged with failure to stop and render aid involving a death, a second-degree felony that carries a punishment of two to 20 years in prison. However, Acosta is eligible for probation.

Jurors were selected June 5 in the 137th District Court to hear the trial.

Lubbock police arrested Acosta on March 11, 2015, three days after an officer responded to the intersection of 32nd Street and Avenue G, where they found 50-year-old Reynaldo Rincon lying in the roadway. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police obtained a video from a nearby convenience store that showed a dark-colored Chevrolet Monte Carlo driving away from the scene.

A Crime Line tip led officers to an auto body repair shop where they met Acosta’s father, Tony Acosta, who worked there with his son.

LPD Sgt. Emilio Hernandez told jurors Tony Acosta told them he knew they were looking for his son, whom he said needed time to surrender himself to police. He said Acosta told him his son heard from friends that a picture of his vehicle was aired on the local news, so he hid his vehicle in the backyard of a residence in the 1700 block of 28th Street.

Hernandez said Acosta led police to the home, where they found the suspected vehicle in the backyard.

Tony Acosta in court denied Hernandez’s statements to police, saying he went with the officer because they threatened to arrest him. Acosta said he has worked as an auto body worker all his life and his son followed in his footsteps.

LPD Det. Mike McGowan told jurors the vehicle’s hood on the driver’s side appeared to have been repaired with auto body repair putty and spray painted. The hood of the vehicle was brought into the courtroom and McGowan pointed to where the paint still had a matte appearance.

Prosecutors also presented jurors with pictures of the vehicle in which McGowan found hair strands and tissue he believed possibly came from Rincon.

We thank A-J Media/Lubbock Avalanche-Journal for reprint permission.

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