Self Defense Trial

This is a discussion on Self Defense Trial within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; 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 ...

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Thread: Self Defense Trial

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    Restricted Member Array SelfDefense's Avatar
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    Self Defense Trial

    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.
    It doesn't seem like a good shoot to me. I think he is going to jail for a long time.

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  3. #2
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    I'm not an attorney but I don't like the word "drugs" playing into the mix.

    I'm pretty much a libratarian on the stance of what people want to do is their own business, but while alcohol is a legal intoxicant for those of legal age, drugs however are an "illegal intoxicant" and I think that is going to be of big issue in this case.

    I have not really thought of the issue of doing illegal drugs in the privacy of your own home would be an illegal act that would preclude you from defending your life against an assault.

    I do believe people have the right to defend themself from an Illegal Aggression committed against them. Since I don't do drugs I have had no reason to think about this scenario before seeing this post.

    I am not the prosecutor or the defense attorney so I have no idea how it is going to play out, but on it's surface it looks like the guy was foolish to bring a stranger to his house, but the law states that even foolish people are allowed to defend themselves. I suppose what the jury is going to have to decide is if a crime was being committed by the defendant with the drugs when he claims to have defended himself as I don't believe you are able to claim self defense if you were committing a crime at the time.

    Still if I were a betting man, I would think that the drug involvement does not bode well for the defendant and he will be lucky if he is only convicted of the lesser charges of manslaughter or negligent homicide.

    JMHO... YMMV

    As a side note: as a lawful ccw holder and sound citizen, I don't live my life recklessly or carelessly therefore, you won't be seeing me in a situation like that.
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

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    Ex Member Array FN1910's Avatar
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    The drugs are going to be a big part of this trial whether they should or should not be. They will be used by both sides to justify a state of mind for both parties in it and what happened, maybe the defendant felt that he needed additional force due to the deceased being on drugs but probably they affected the judgement of both sides. This was a bad situation to start with and got worse resulting in the loss of one life and the ruination of another. I would be very tempted to vote the killing being justified as it was his home and the fellow had been told to leave. I will be interested in how this turns out.

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    Senior Member Array rabywk's Avatar
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    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.

    ------------------------------------------------

    So what are the laws here. Does the jury have to convict / no convict on 1st degree murder or can they recommend a lesser charge. It might not have been a clean shoot, but was not 1st Degree!!!!!
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    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabywk View Post
    So what are the laws here. Does the jury have to convict / no convict on 1st degree murder or can they recommend a lesser charge. It might not have been a clean shoot, but was not 1st Degree!!!!!
    It's generally up to the prosecutor whether they charge someone with what's called a 'lesser included offense'. For 1st degree murder, lesser included offenses in most states are 2nd degree murder, manslaughter, and negligent homicide. Oftentimes prosecutors don't like to allow the jury to convict of a lesser offense because it encourages compromise verdicts (ie seven jurors think he's guilty of murder, five think he's innocent, so they'll compromise and everyone can agree on manslaughter).

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