He is so proud of his Mexican state that he stays in the US and gang bangs.
When gang members picked a fight over the best state in Mexico last year at a Santa Ana restaurant, an innocent man getting into his car wound up as a casualty, a prosecutor told jury members Wednesday.
Bickering with other patrons inside turned into brawl in the parking lot until defendant Ricardo Guerra Rocha, 19, along with his sister and co-defendant Maria Isabel Rocha, 30, and co-defendant Ivan Sanchez, 23, retreated to their car, Deputy District Attorney Mark Geller said in the opening statements of the murder trial.
They drove off only to return with a gun and a mind to mete out street justice, he said.
But by the time they got back, Geller said, the challengers were gone and there instead was 35-year-old Esteban Navarrete getting into his car with his wife and a friend. He said at that point, as Sanchez walked forward with the gun, Navarrete said, "We're not the ones!"
Sanchez fired anyway. He shot at least once through the windshield and also hit Navarrete once in the head, killing him, before fleeing the scene, Geller said.
The prosecutor contended Rocha was standing right next to Sanchez when he shot Navarrete, and later advised him to get rid of his clothes.
But defense attorney Joe Heneghan insisted Rocha followed at some distance behind Sanchez and, not knowing until the exact moment what Sanchez intended to do, tried to stop him from firing the gun. Heneghan also asked jury members to hesitate before assuming the slaying was necessarily gang related, even if it involved gang members.
If it is a gang case, Heneghan explained that fact opens up room for the District Attorney's Office to argue Rocha was vicariously liable for Sanchez's action.
The trial before Superior Court Judge Steven Bromberg is expected to last the rest of the week. If convicted on charges of first degree murder, Rocha could face a maximum sentence of 50 years to a life term in prison.