Juan Carlos Alegria was not facing his assailant 18 months ago when he was gunned down outside of a westside apartment building, a pathologist testified Wednesday.
Dr. Alane Olson said one bullet entered Alegria's body on the left side of his chest toward the front. Another entered above his buttock just right of center, and a third entered the right side of his chest toward the back, said
"So it's safe to say on all three entry wounds, the front of Juan Carlos was facing away from the muzzle of the gun?" asked Deputy District Attorney Tom Armstrong.
"Yes, that's fair," said Olson.
Wednesday was the first full day of testimony in the state's case against Maximilliano Cisneros, 24, who is charged with the killing of Alegria and the shooting of Fidel Fuentes.
According to testimony, Cisneros was visiting a woman on West Eighth Street on May 24, 2005, when her estranged boyfriend Fidel Fuentes arrived and busted into her apartment.
Cisneros, who had attempted to escape through a back window, allegedly followed Fuentes outside and opened fire, killing Alegria and wounding Fuentes.
Alegria's father, flanked in the courtroom by supporters, wept silently and wiped away tears as photos of his mortally wounded son were shown to the jury on a big-screen television.
Olson described to the jury how two of the wounds were deadly, but she was unable to tell which came first.
"I determined Mr. Alegria died as a result of three gunshot wounds. The manner of death was homicide," she said.
On cross-examination, defense attorney Ben Walker asked Olson if the wounds in his back could have been consistent with Alegria being spun by the velocity of the bullets, which he described as rapid succession.
"Yes," she said.
Neighbor Latosha Ingle said when she came outside after hearing Fuentes break into the apartment, he was running back out, and Cisneros appeared on the porch. As he passed her, she said, Cisneros was pulling what appeared to be a handgun from behind his back.
"I screamed and tried to get back to my kids. By the time I lifted my foot to get into my apartment, three or four shots were fired," she said. She ran into her home without looking back, she said.
Armstrong played two 911 calls for the jury, one in which Ingle's uncle called for police.
"Shots fired!" he yelled at the dispatcher. Ingle could be heard screaming and crying in the background for her children to get down on the floor. When the dispatcher asked for more details, the uncle became agitated. "God damn it, get somebody here! I don't know (what happened). I was in bed, and I heard shots."
Ingle said she made a second call to 911 after she learned someone had been shot.
"You guys go hide. Go hide. Hurry, please," a panicked Ingle said to her children as she waited for dispatchers to answer the phone. When Ingle became too hysterical to speak, her grandmother took the phone and told dispatchers someone was shot.
"I'm not going out there to find out who," she said. In the background, several voices could be heard urging the three children to stay down. Someone suggested turning off the light.
"Why are they taking so damn long?" the grandmother asked as she waited for help to arrive.
Testimony will continue today.
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