Juan Quintero trial wrapping up

May 7, 2008 5:13:52 PM PDT
A mother relived the pain of losing her son on Wednesday, and faced his accused killer. The mother of fallen Houston police Officer Rodney Johnson was in court, as Juan Quintero's capital murder trial nears the end.

"It hurts," said Cynthia Johnson, Officer Johnson's mother. "I'm not going to see my baby anymore and I'm still hurting."

In what she calls a horrible experience, Johnson found strength and sat in the same courtroom feet away from Quintero, who's accused of murdering her son.

She listened as two experts called by prosecutors criticized defense team notions that Quintero was insane when he shot the Houston police officer in 2006. It happened as Quintero sat handcuffed behind Johnson in his HPD patrol car.

Officer Johnson was arresting Quintero for allegedly driving without a license.

On Monday, a defense psychologist testified that the 34-year-old undocumented immigrant briefly experienced a period of insanity. However, a county doctor who interviewed the defendant said he didn't' believe he was insane.

Dr. Ramon Laval testified, 'I don't know what motiviated him to kill the officer, but it was not the results of severe mental defect or mental disease."

Listening to the details of her son's killing, like grieving his death, however Johnson found comfort in her youngest grandchildren.

"If it hadn't been for these kids being born, I don't know if I would have made it," she said. "They've given me the love and the strength I need to go on."

Johnson's sister, Susan, found out she was carrying the twin boy and girl a day after the officer's death. She named her daughter Ronnie, after her Uncle Rodney. The babies often remind the family of the officer's larger than life personality.

"God took one and gave us two," said Susan Johbnson. "So we're constantly reminded of how active life can be."

Both sides have now rested and closing arguments are set for Thursday. Prosecutors are asking for the death penalty if Quintero is convicted.

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