A Fort Worth family is upset after a 28-year-old relative was arrested on a murder warrant, accused of fatally injuring his father during an argument in March.
Jesus Salvador Molina, a former Marine, is accused of punching his father, 56-year-old Salvador Molina Sr., outside his father’s home in the 3400 block of Townsend Drive, shortly after midnight on March 26.
Salvador Molina Sr. fell and struck his head, police said. He was pronounced dead later that night at John Peter Smith Hospital.
In June, the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office ruled the father’s death a homicide caused by blunt force trauma of the head.
After further investigation, detectives obtained a murder warrant against Jesus Molina, who was arrested Wednesday at his Fort Worth residence.
He was being held in the Mansfield jail Thursday with bail set at $25,000 in the murder case. He was also being held without bond on a probation violation warrant, jail records show.
Family members of Jesus Molina called his arrest “unfair.”
“It wasn’t intentional,” said Jovan Molina, the suspect’s younger brother. “It wasn’t that my brother wanted to kill my dad. It’s ridiculous. ... My dad wouldn’t want my brother to be in jail for that.”
Varying accounts of incident
Family members say the incident occurred one day after the death of Salvador Molina Sr.’s brother.
Anabel Molina, Jesus Molina’s older sister, said their father was drunk that night, upset over the death of his brother and an argument that he’d had with his own mother.
She said her then 14-year-old sister had been trying to help their intoxicated father when he lost his balance and fell back, striking his head on the driveway.
“She couldn’t hold him so he fell back,” Anabel Molina said, adding that her father had a history of falling down and a previous head injury from being hit with a bat.
Anabel Molina claimed that Jesus Molina wasn’t even present when their father fell. She said she had ordered Jesus Molina and another brother to leave the home about 20 minutes earlier after the two brothers began fighting.
Homicide Detective E.C. Pate said Thursday, however, that police have eyewitnesses to the assault and that the brothers have admitted to investigators that they were present when Salvador Molina Sr. was injured.
Pate said Jesus Molina even admitted to detectives that he hit his father, though later recanted.
“Anabel is a liar who lacks credibility,” Pate said.
Jovan Molina said that though he was not present, he has been told by family members that his father was accidentally struck after getting into the middle of a fight between Jesus Molina and another brother.
“It wasn’t intentional,” Jovan Molina said. “I know for sure it wasn’t. They loved each other. My dad was the one that wanted to keep my brothers close.”
‘A gift for knocking people out’
According to an arrest warrant affidavit, the argument between Jesus Molina and his father had been prompted after Jesus Molina made a disrespectful comment about his father’s dead brother.
Another brother, Salvador Molina Jr., had tried to intervene and separate the two but Jesus Molina reportedly said, “Just let me hit him one time,” according to the affidavit.
Jesus Molina then punched his father one time, knocking the older man to the ground, the affidavit states.
“Salvado Molina Sr. never got back up,” Pate wrote in the affidavit.
Jesus Molina allegedly told someone soon after the assault that he had knocked his father out and that the man was now hospitalized in critical condition.
“I have a gift for knocking people out,” Jesus Molina allegedly remarked, the affidavit states.
Other run-ins with the law
Family members say Jesus Molina had served in the Marines beginning in the late 2000s, including a tour in Afghanistan. He was honorably discharged, they said, in 2012 or 2013.
Tarrant County records show he was charged in September 2013 with assaulting a public servant for kicking a Fort Worth officer working security at a downtown club.
He pleaded guilty to the charge in March 2014 in exchange for three years deferred adjudication probation.
A warrant was recently issued for his arrest in the case, however, after prosecutors alleged that he violated his probation by committing a new crime — driving while intoxicated — as well as consuming alcohol, repeatedly failing to report to his probation officer, and failing to pay a supervision fee.
The DWI charge, filed in December of 2015, is pending, court records show.
Jovan Molina said that although his brother has gotten into some trouble with the law since leaving the military, no one was more upset than their father.
“Every time it happened, my dad started crying,” Jovan Molina said.
He said he can recall going with his father to bail his brother out of jail one time.
“My dad was waiting for him for hours,” Jovan Molina said. “My dad didn’t want to see any of his kids on the other side of that window. I can guarantee my dad doesn’t want anything bad to happen to my family.”