Santiago Vasquez

Santiago Vasquez

A jury of five women and seven men on Friday found an 86-year-old man guilty of the murder of his next-door neighbor.

Santiago Vasquez, who had been out on bond, was booked into the Bell County Jail at 4:59 p.m. on Friday, according to jail records.

The jury heard three days of testimony in the 264th Judicial District Court after being picked on Monday. Closing arguments were Friday morning.

Defense attorneys did not deny that Vasquez shot John Seth, Jr., 80, on May 30, 2017, in the 2800 block of Fishpond Lane. The defense and prosecution presented different versions of what might have happened.

Vasquez, cane in hand, told the jury on Wednesday that he shot Seth in self-defense when Seth, a larger man, attacked him with his own cane.

A state’s witness on Tuesday and Thursday told the jury a different story: She said she saw Vasquez strike Seth twice with Vasquez’s cane, knocking him down after the second hit, followed by shooting him three times.

Seth died from two bullet wounds fired from Vasquez’s .38 Special revolver, one of two firearms police found on the defendant that day, in addition to a large knife, according to court testimony.

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