Defense questions lead detective in ex-Farmers Branch cop's murder trial

Defense attorneys trying to save a former Farmers Branch officer from life in prison questioned the lead detective in the murder investigation.

Ken Johnson is on trial for murdering 16-year-old burglary suspect Jose Cruz last March after witnessing him and a friend steal from his vehicle.

Former Addison detective Eric Aguilar returned to the stand on Thursday. In cross-examination, defense attorneys pressed him about possible missteps and missed opportunities in the investigation.

Aguilar, who now works in private sector cybersecurity and who also attended the police academy with Johnson, was asked repeatedly about Addison officers' investigative techniques. Through questioning him, defense attorneys also pointed out that eyewitness testimony isn't always reliable.

The defense tried to discredit some of the emotional testimony from Wednesday that described Johnson as enraged and acting without hesitation as he unloaded his weapon into Cruz's red Challenger.

“You could have tested the car, correct?” asked defense attorney Robert Roberts.

“Correct,” Aguilar replied.

“You could have tested the lining of the car, correct?” Roberts asked.

“Correct,” Aguilar replied.

“You never asked for that testing,” the defense attorney said.

“Because it didn't matter,” Aguilar said. “Your client admitted to the shooting. And we know that there was a shooting, and we had the gun.”

Defense attorneys also pointed out that investigators failed to recover three of the 16 bullets that Johnson fired.

When Aguilar was passed back to prosecutors for questioning, he testified Johnson's actions did not indicate he was in fear of his life. He pointed out when Johnson pulled open Cruz's door, he put himself in a very dangerous position if Cruz actually had a weapon.

Prosecutors also called crash and forensic experts Thursday afternoon. They aren't expected to rest their case until sometime next week.

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