Posted on 9/14/20

A Dallas area teenager named Zephi Trevino has been charged with capital murder after an incident that took place in May 2019. She has been in custody at the Henry Wade Justice Center for a year. Two other men face capital murder charges along with her. Zephi and her parents contend that she was actually a sex trafficking victim in the incident and should not be considered a suspect. 

The Shooting That Resulted in Capital Murder Charges

On the night of the shooting, her parents did not know that she was at an apartment with two men who were ages 18 and 19 at the time. Law enforcement claim that the two men, along with Zephi’s help, lured the victims into the apartment. Once the victims were in the apartment, the defendants allegedly robbed and ambushed them. One of the male defendants has confessed to shooting both men, causing one to become injured and one to die. This young man is claiming that Zephi was the one who set the entire event up and led the victims to the apartment. 

Zephi’s parents allege that one of the male defendants forced their daughter to go to the apartment to have sex for money. The defendant accused of pulling the trigger claimed that he was in a relationship with her and that he has proof in the forms of messages on his phone. Her father says that she appeared to be drugged when she got home that night, and went to bed after crying. Zephi declined a plea deal through which she would have served 10 years of jail time. Now she faces up to a 40-year jail sentence. 

Understanding Captial Murder Charges in Texas

Texas recognizes four different categories of homicide — murder, capital murder, manslaughter, and criminally negligent homicide. The crime of murder is a felony of the first degree and it involves knowingly and intentionally killing someone. Capital murder can be punishable by death and is the most serious of all homicide charges. Under Texas law, capital murder hapens when:

  • The victim is a fireman or officer

  • The defendant commits a murder while attempting to commit burglary, robbery, arson, sexual assault, retaliation, obstruction, or burglary

  • The defendant committed the murder for money

  • The defendant hired someone to commit murder on his or her behalf

  • The defendant killed someone while incarcerated for one of the four homicide offense

  • The defendant killed a child under the age of 10

  • The defendant killed someone during a criminal transaction

Contact an Experienced Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with any homicide charge in Dallas, you need to speak with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Capital murder is a capital felony charge, and if convicted, you could face the death penalty. It is extremely important that you hire the best possible defense lawyer. Contact the skilled Dallas criminal defense lawyers at Abel Law Firm today.

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