AUSTIN, Texas - "I don’t feel safe," said Belinda Martinez.
The two 17-year-olds charged with killing Martinez’s 16-year-old son Daniel Aguillón are back in the community having spent 13 days in Travis County’s Juvenile Detention Center.
"They left the courtroom with conditions not to reach out to the victim's family, which is ridiculous. I think if they had the heart to [murder] cold-blooded, I don’t think they would ever hesitate to hurt anybody else," she said.
The two minors were arrested on April 14 and discharged from Gardner Betts Juvenile Detention Center on April 27 under conditional release. They are both charged with first-degree murder. Their cases are ongoing.
"That’s like just telling them it’s okay what they did… I’m here continuing, hurting for the murder of my son. And they’re going to go on with their lives like they never committed a crime at all," said Martinez.
Travis County Sheriff’s detectives believe the two teenagers shot Daniel to death at the Villas at Tech Ridge apartments on October 18, 2020. Daniel had been staying there with friends.
"They said that my son said he had put on Snapchat he was selling a gun. So they were going with the intention of robbing him, and they robbed him and then took his life," Martinez said.
Martinez believes the teens robbed her of her own life that day. She says her son became fixated on providing for his family, buying and reselling items after his father was incarcerated.
"[Daniel] said ‘mom I’m gonna open my business one day and you’re never gonna have to worry. I’m gonna buy you a house. I’m gonna buy you a car. I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna do that.’ He was always about family."
Martinez says she often receives screenshots of text messages Daniel sent to friends telling them how much he loved and sought to care for her and his younger sister, Jaslyn Maldonado.
"His main focus was to take care of me and his sister," Martinez said.
13-year-old Jaslyn says her brother was a "very outgoing and happy person." She smiled describing how her brother used to "sugar coat" situations and add an extra "boom and pow" to his stories. "I just miss him a lot." she said.
Daniel lived with his Aunt JoAnn Ramirez for several months. "He just lit up everybody's lives and nobody will ever see that ever again." she said.
Martinez says the last several months have been "difficult."
"They murdered my son and all I want is justice. I go to bed every night and only me as a mother, I know that every night when I lay my head on that pillow, I cry and I pray to God for justice to be served for my son Daniel. He didn’t deserve to die the way that he did," she said.
Shortly before Daniel’s death, Martinez moved the family from Austin to Georgetown, hoping to build a better life. Now, knowing the two young men accused of killing her son are out, she says she may move again.
"I don’t feel safe. I’ve actually thought of selling and moving on. It’s scary being out here by ourselves," she said.