Posted: Dec 13, 2012 5:16 PM by Caroline Flores - firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated: Dec 13, 2012 11:40 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - Parents of a man who was shot five years ago was back in court today to get justice for their son.
On July 15, 2007 police say 20-year-old Steven Gonzales and 19-year-old Matthew Salas were fatally shot in what police called a drug deal gone bad. Officers say 27-year-old Jason Caldwell was meeting up with the two to sell drugs. But police concluded Caldwell shot them out of self defense when the two men tried to rob him. Caldwell was never charged with capital murder, but got five years probation for delivery of marijuana.
"It's like seeing the devil. Truly my skin crawls. It like seeing... It's seeing the devil himself," said Salas' mother Christina Salas.
That was Matthew Salas' mother's first thought when she saw the man who shot her son Thursday in court. After criminal courts decided not to indict Caldwell on capital murder charges, Salas' parents took a different rout to seek justice.
"The justice system did fail us, did fail our son. And we're here to get justice," said Salas' father Arnold Salas.
So last month the Salas' did just that by taking Caldwell to civil court. They sued him for the wrongful death of their son.
"This is about justice. I am my son's voice and it's about justice," said Christina.
The court ended up ruling in their favor ordering Caldwell to pay the family 800 thousand dollars.
"He deserves any punishment that he can get from the justice system and he needs to pay the money," said Christina.
So today they were in court to try and get Caldwell to pay up. A sum they say doesn't come close to what he took from them.
"Every parent knows, no amount of money is worth the price of a child," said Arnold.
I tried to talk with Caldwell but he didn't have any comment. The Salas' say they will continue to be a voice for their son and try to get justice for his death.
Caldwell still hasn't paid what the court says he owes. He will be back in court next month to go over with a judge how he will pay the family almost a million dollars.
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