David Finn Interviewed On Zephaniah Trevino and Philip Baldenegro Murder Charges & Sex Trafficking Allegations
by Markie Martin / NewsNation
GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas (NewsNation Now) — Two teenagers just outside of Dallas, Texas now face capital murder charges.
At the center of the story: 17-year-old Zephaniah “Zephi” Trevino and 19-year-old Philip Baldenegro.
Both have been accused of a deadly shooting that happened in August 2019.
The young girl claims she isn’t guilty and that she was being sex trafficked by Baldenegro.
Baldenegro’s attorney called the sex trafficking allegations a “smoke screen.”
The case takes a new step next week.
NewsNation sat down for the first time on national TV with family and defense attorneys for both sides.
Because Trevino is a juvenile, NewsNation was not granted access to the court records of this case.
Both teams are now asking the court of public opinion to hear them out and both sides are begging to be believed.
Two sides to the story
“This is happening in America. This is happening every day. This happened to my child, it can happen to anyone, any class, any race,” said Zephaniah’s mother Crystal Trevino.
“I wouldn’t be going public with this information unless I had this avalanche of Hollywood Kim Kardashian, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jihad, saying that my guy was a sex trafficker,” said Baldenegro’s attorney David Finn.
It was the summer of 2019 in Grand Prairie, Texas, when Zephaniah Trevino and Philip Baldenegro started spending time together. Finn said the two were high school classmates and dating.
“It was a boyfriend-girlfriend romantic relationship. 18-year-old guy, 16-year-old girl. They did what kids do,” said Finn.
Zephaniah’s mother Crystal and family attorney Justin Moore said they vehemently disagree.
“We have evidence that shows great abuse from this man against this child,” Moore said. “So, I believe their relationship was one of predator and prey.”
“When I met Philip in our home, he was introduced to us as a friend,” Crystal said.
But Crystal said the relationship was far from friendly, now claiming that her daughter was being sex trafficked by Baldenegro. Living under threats and forced to engage in violent, non-consensual activity.
“She would isolate herself. She would not talk a lot. She was losing weight. She would leave out of the house in one outfit and come home in something that was totally inappropriate. Clothes we didn’t buy her,” Crystal said.
Finn called the sex trafficking allegations against his client “a false narrative.”
He said he’s reviewed both teens’ cellphones — records he plans to show in court, but can’t release since the case involves a juvenile. He said texts and images on Zephaniah’s phone don’t show a girl fearing for her safety, but one who reveled in rebellion.
“OK, Zephi if that’s the case, what about all these pictures of you smoking dope and having sex with all these other guys? Were you forced to do all of that? That you recorded on your own? In her phone she’s looking for guns all the time,” Finn said. “For months searching: ‘Glock,’ ‘Glock starter pistol,’ ‘Glock 38,’ pages of it.”