Fort Worth man receives 99 years in prison for murder

Posted Monday, Sep. 23, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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A jury sentenced a 21-year-old man to 99 years in prison on Friday for murdering his friend and an additional 50 years in prison for wounding the friend’s girlfriend.

Jose Luis Acosta of Fort Worth was convicted of murder in the death of Eduardo Bustos and attempted capital murder in the wounding of Savana Rodriguez, Bustos’ girlfriend.

The jury fined Acosta $10,000 on the murder charge and $5,000 in the attempted capital murder charge, a news release from the Tarrant County district attorney’s office stated. The 99- and 50-year sentences will run simultaneously.

Prosecutors offered two possible motives Acosta might have had for killing Bustos. Acosta believed that Bustos was working with the police and Bustos admitted to Acosta that he had sex with the mother of Acosta’s children, according to Tamla Ray, the Tarrant County prosecutor who worked on the case with Tasha Foster.

Bustos, Acosta and a third man, Michael Cucuta, were in the drug sales business together, according to Ray. Bustos was booked into jail on Jan. 12, 2011 on two counts of suspicion of possession of a controlled substance. He was released three days later, according to Tarrant County district clerk records.

When the grand jury no-billed Bustos on the two drug possession charges, Acosta and Cucuta concluded that Bustos was working with the authorities, prosecutors said. Ray said Acosta killed Bustos because he believed he was a “snitch.”

Acosta’s attorney, Pamela Fernandez, argued that Cucuta, who was in the apartment when the shooting occurred, was the shooter.

“Every bit of evidence that the state gave you leads to Cucuta,” Fernandez said.

Rodriguez testified that Acosta shot her and killed Bustos on Oct. 9, 2011 at the couple’s apartment in the 6200 block of Finbro Drive in south Fort Worth. Bustos denied being a “snitch” but admitted that he had a previous sexual relationship with the mother of Acosta’s children.

Bustos lunged at Acosta when he turned his gun toward Rodriguez and was shot three times, according to testimony in state District Judge Louis Sturns’ court. As Rodriguez tried to escape she was shot in the hip, the release said.

“Savana’s in the apartment and she wants to leave, but he shoots her too,” Foster told the jury during her closing statement. “She balls up in the fetal position because she knows more bullets are coming. She hears him standing over her, fiddling with the gun, pulling the trigger. Fortunately for her, the gun doesn’t work.”

Prosecutors told the jury that Acosta was on parole for four days when the shooting occurred, the release said. Prosecutors also said Acosta was labeled a gang member by police and had assault, attempted burglary and evading arrest convictions. Cucuta is in jail awaiting trial.

“This man went to Eduardo’s and Savana’s home under the guise of friendship, knowing all along that he planned on killing them,” Ray said.

Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752 Twitter: @mitchmitchel3

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