A Pima County Superior Court jury will decide over the next week whether a Tucson man killed another in cold blood or self-defense.
Attorneys for David Rene Garcia, 36, must prove to jurors that he shot Alexis Samaniego, 23, on Dec. 5, 2004, fearing for his life and that of another man present.
Last year, Arizona adopted a law that forces prosecutors to prove a defendant didn't act in self-defense, in part because of Garcia's case and the case of a Phoenix man. However, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled in February that the law doesn't apply to Garcia because Samaniego's slaying occurred before the law passed.
Deputy County Attorney Mark Diebolt told jurors that Garcia shot Samaniego 10 times after inviting him home from a North First Avenue bar for drinks and drugs.
"What you're going to hear about is an argument broke out," Diebolt said during opening arguments Tuesday. "And I don't know how else to put it, I'm not going to use the exact words, but along the line of 'F you! F you! You got a gun? You think you're tough?' Then boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!
"Alexis Samaniego never touched the gun. He never had a gun in his hands," Diebolt said.
"This is not about who shot and killed Alexis Samaniego," Diebolt said. "It's about, is (Garcia) justified in doing that?"
Each time Garcia pulled the trigger of his .45 caliber Glock semi-automatic pistol, Diebolt said, he made a conscious effort to kill Samaniego and committed first-degree murder.
Defense attorney Anthony Payson told jurors that Samaniego attacked Garcia and the other man.
"There is no premeditation in this case," Payson said.
"This is something between manslaughter and negligent homicide.
"But, in fact, none of this matters because the absolute defense is what David did was act in self-defense and in defense of a third person," Payson said.
Payson said jurors will hear testimony that Garcia did everything he could to get Samaniego out of his apartment after he became belligerent.
"I'm gonna take your gun and do you with it, homes!" Samaniego said, according to Payson.
Samaniego was looking for a knife or other weapon when Garcia picked up his Glock, which he had shown to the men earlier, and tucked it in his belt behind his back, Payson said. Samaniego either threw or pushed an iron coat rack at Garcia and again threatened to kill Garcia before the shooting, Payson said.
Judge Christopher Browning told jurors that testimony is expected to continue into next week.