SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - In just a few days, he and his girlfriend would have been headed back to high school. Instead, a Tyler teenager is in jail, accused of a murdering his girlfriend's mother's boyfriend.
A 9-1-1 call came in around 6 p.m. Wednesday from a home on Smith County Road 1295. That's where they found Richard Rico Ramos dead from multiple stab wounds. Alejandro Silva, 17, is now being held for murder.
The victim's girlfriend is speaking out, saying the whole thing may have been just a big, and now deadly, misunderstanding. Rachel Rawlings says she blames herself.
"If I hadn't been screaming like that, then it wouldn't have happened," she said.
She says she suffers from mental health and anger management problems. She showed us the room where Richard Ramos was stabbed to death.
"I came to this mirror and I punched it real hard because I was going to try to break it," she said.
That is when Ramos, grabbed her. Rawlings says he was trying to keep her from hurting herself.
"I was screaming," she said.
"I think he sensed that my mom was in trouble," said Angela Rawlings.
Angela says that is when she asked her boyfriend, Alejandro Silva, to go check on her mom. Authorities say the 17-year-old went to the kitchen, grabbed a knife and headed to the back bedroom.
"[He] confronted Ramos," said Lt. Tony Dana, with the Smith County Sheriff's Office. "Ramos took a swing and at that time, Alejandro began to stab Ramos multiple times."
Dana says Ramos was unarmed.
"There had been times before...where he would get really drunk...and he would act real crazy," said Angela.
Angela says she does not know why Alejandro took the knife. They both ran next door to her grandfather's house.
"Both the kids were crying," said Richard Shearer, Angela's grandfather.
He called 9-1-1 thinking his daughter, Rachel, had been attacked and raped.
"He (Alejandro) didn't trust the guy, period...and I didn't trust him, either," said Shearer.
Ramos moved in with Rawlings after a brief stint at the East Texas Rescue Mission. We're told he'd assaulted her at least once before. The Smith County judicial website also notes Ramos's many run-ins with police.
"We found no justification for deadly force in this situation," said Dana.
"I wish it would have been me," said Rachel Rawlings.
Alejandro's Silva's bond is now set at $1,000,000. We stopped by his home in Tyler and spoke to his mother. She says her son would never do anything like this.