EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — A suspect accused of pinning a married couple against a bar business says he stopped the victims from fighting each other before the collision.
Donovan Paul Byers, 27, said a married couple he is accused of pinning with a red Mustang convertible were fighting during a night out at Adrian’s Cocktail Lounge at 3400 Gateway Blvd. East, according to a police document.
He has been charged with murder and aggravated assault after police say he pinned the married couple against a wall with his vehicle. Adrian Linton has died from his injuries and Cecilia Chavez is expected to recover from her injuries.
Shortly after seeing news of the incident, Byers turned himself into police at their headquarters in Central El Paso wanting to tell his side of the story. He voluntarily gave a statement claiming he observed Linton “possibly” hitting Chavez at the cocktail lounge.
“The defendant state that he separated the subjects from fighting,” the document states. “The defendant explained that victim Linton pushed him away and the defendant began wrestling with victim Linton.”
But Byers’ account of the incident is contested by Linton’s sister Sirena who says her brother would never attack his wife.
“You know, I don’t want to bring any light to this guy or this person who did this,” she said. “But I do want to say that my brother is not the type of person to be how he’s being set out be. He would never do something like that.”
Linton, who is a gymnast in college, says her brother stepped into a roll as a father figure when their dad was deported years ago. He also served in the United States Army fighting in Iraq.
“He was able to kind of fill that space my dad couldn’t physically be there for,” she said. “He was a selflessly person and an abundant love for others.”
Linton says it will be important to honor her sibling’s legacy while caring for his daughter.
Sirena Linton says her sister-in-law is recovering from injuries she sustained during the incident earlier this week. And, has taken her first steps out of a hospital bed.
A GoFundMe has been started by the Linton family to help pay for funeral expenses.
It’s unclear if Byers’ account placed the confrontation with Linton outside or inside of the establishment.
Byers’ statement claims his wife, broke up the fight and the two separated. He walked toward his vehicle, away from Linton, which was stopped in the middle of Luna Street.
“The defendant explained that he drove his vehicle placing the vehicle in reverse, revving the engine causing the tires to spin out,” the document reads. “The defendant stated that the vehicle jumped up on the curb striking the business. The defendant fled the scene at a high rate of speed.”
Byers told police “that he had no knowledge that he struck or injured any person.”