According to court documents Roderick Harris would force his way into a home at gunpoint where he would shoot and kill Alfredo and Carlos Gallardo. Harris would rob the home before fleeing
Roderick Harris would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
Roderick Harris Photos
Roderick Harris Now
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Roderick Harris Case
Dallas County jurors deliberated for two days before deciding Monday that there was nothing in killer Roderick Harris’ background that would warrant sparing him from death.
Harris, 27, stood looking down at the defense table with his hands in his pockets as state District Judge Mike Snipes read the jury’s verdict. The jury left the room, and Harris sat as the judge formally gave Harris the death sentence
The same jury earlier this month found Harris guilty after he robbed a home, terrorizing a family, including three children, before shooting and killing brothers Alfredo and Carlos Gallardo.
After the verdict, their sister, Blanca Garcia, said during a victim impact statement that Harris’ damage to her family “will never be forgotten.”
“I just want to ask this man why he would do that, because he broke our hearts,” said Garcia, who seemed to struggle to find the right words as she spoke to Harris through an interpreter.
Garcia said that she was glad of the jury’s verdict. But she noted that had the jury instead voted for life without parole, her family would still be suffering.
“Either way, I am sad because I will never see my brothers again,” she said.
Harris stormed into the family’s trailer in southeast Dallas in March 2009 and demanded cash, jewelry and drugs. The family gave him what little they had — $2, a ring and a necklace. They had no drugs. During the home invasion, one of the children translated Harris’ words into Spanish because some in the family could not understand him.
Harris pistol-whipped the brothers and ordered the family into a bathroom closet. Harris later pulled out Alfredo Gallardo, 45. Alfredo Gallardo pushed Harris into the bathtub and fell on top of Harris. Harris shot Alfredo Gallardo twice. Harris shot Carlos Gallardo, 36, when he tried to help his brother
At least one of the children witnessed the shootings as she watched from inside the closet, according to testimony.
Harris was arrested leaving the home after getting into a shootout with police, who had been alerted to the crime after one family member escaped through a window. Harris was shot twice. The officers were not hurt.
During closing arguments, prosecutors had urged jurors to agree to a death sentence, reminding them that Harris has been a gang member and accused in other robberies, including a case where three brothers were shot, one fatally
“You know the evil that is Roderick Harris,” prosecutor Justin Lord said. “He will pose a threat to anyone and everyone he’s around because that’s who he is.”
Defense attorneys pleaded for jurors to consider life without parole because of his upbringing. Harris grew up in a home where violence was common. He was abandoned by his father and neglected by his mother, who used marijuana daily when she was pregnant with him. Mental illness also runs in his family.
Defense attorney Brad Lollar also appealed to jurors to consider that the death penalty is “archaic,” “barbaric” and “immoral.”
Lollar told jurors that if a death sentence would bring back those Harris killed, “I’d be the first one to vote yes.”
Harris was only convicted of killing Alfredo Gallardo. He could face a trial for his other crimes, but that is unlikely because he was sentenced to death.