Bashir found guilty of first-degree murder in death of UNM baseball player

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A verdict was reached in the trial of Darian Bashir Tuesday evening. A jury found Bashir guilty of first-degree murder and tampering with evidence.

For about a week, Bashir was on trial for killing 23-year-old Jackson Weller, a UNM baseball player, outside a Nob Hill club in 2019. Prosecutors had asked the jury to convict Bashir of first-degree murder.

According to Weller’s friends, they had all planned to go out in Nob Hill. They said there was a fight first at Nob Hill Bar and Grill and then again when they went for food at Last Call.

Prosecutors claimed Bashir drove to Last Call – after Weller got into a fight with one of his friends – asked him about the fight, shot him, then took off in a car parked nearby.

Bashir, however, had claimed Weller and his friend were following him and he felt threatened.

Closing arguments were heard Friday morning. The jury reached a verdict after a few hours of deliberation.

KOB 4 talked to family members after the verdict – they said the process has been difficult.

"Every day Jackson texted his father and said ‘it’s a great day to have a great day,’ because he wanted to see the positive," said Lisa Weller, Jackson’s mother. "I want this community to know how much we appreciate the support and the hard work that was done to bring justice. We’re very appreciative and we know Jackson is also. Right now, he is probably saying ‘it’s a great day to have a great day.’"

Bernalillo County District Attorney Raúl Torrez shared the following statement:

"I am extremely proud of the case prepared by our trial team and the quick guilty verdict returned by the jury. I also share the Weller family’s outrage at the baseless accusations concocted by Bashir’s defense team regarding alleged statements made by Jackson on the night of his murder. Thankfully the jury saw through this shameful attempt to play the race card and returned a verdict of murder in the first degree. As my prosecution team stated in the closing arguments, when Bashir murdered Jackson Weller he ‘…took away everything he’s got and everything he’s ever gonna have.’ We hope that the family and friends of Jackson Weller find some peace with today’s verdict."