A gavel
Representation. The gavel of a judge. sergeitokmakov/Pixabay


  • A Dallas jury convicted Richard Acosta Jr., 34, of capital murder Friday
  • He drove a getaway car when his son killed three in a convenience store in 2021
  • Acosta attempted to dispose of evidence and tried to move his family away from the area

A 34-year-old Texas man whose teenage son fatally shot three people more than a year ago has been found guilty of murder.

A Dallas jury convicted Richard Acosta Jr. of capital murder Friday over the Dec. 26, 2021, deaths of Xavier Gonzalez, 14, Ivan Noyala, 16, and Rafael Garcia, 17, the Associated Press reported.

Acosta had been accused of assisting his son, Abel Acosta, when the latter entered a Garland, Texas, convenience store that day and killed all three victims.

An unnamed 15-year-old newly hired cook was also injured in the shooting, but they have since recovered.

Abel, who was 14 at the time of the shooting, disappeared shortly after the incident and remains at large, according to a report by CBS News.

He is considered armed and dangerous, authorities said.

Meanwhile, Richard turned himself in to Garland police the day after the incident.

Richard was accused of driving the getaway vehicle that day and charged with capital murder, News 10 reported.

Under Texas law, accomplices can be charged even if they did not commit the actual crime.

Richard insisted during his trial that he had no foreknowledge of the shooting. Additionally, he testified that he was unaware that Abel was in possession of a gun or the person who fired it inside the convenience store.

However, Dallas District Attorney John Creuzot said that a reasonable person would not have sped away from the scene.

Prosecutors also argued that Richard sought to dispose of evidence and tried to move his family from Garland.

The jury deliberated for nearly four hours before returning their verdict of a capital murder conviction, which carries life imprisonment without parole or the death penalty.

Richard will receive an automatic life in prison sentence as prosecutors did not seek the death penalty, The Dallas Morning News reported.

"We are only halfway to justice. The search continues. We will not stop until Abel Acosta is captured," the Garland Police Department said in a statement posted on Facebook.

Richard testified that he does not know where his son is.

Authorities are still offering a $10,000 reward for any information regarding Abel's whereabouts.

"We are urging anyone with information on the whereabouts of Abel Acosta to contact the Garland Police Department at 972-485-4840," the force wrote.

"You can also submit any tips anonymously to Garland Crime Stoppers at 972-272-8477 (TIPS) or at www.garlandcrimestoppers.org," the department added.

A man holding a gun
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