Witness explains why shooting that left victim dead occurred
May 26, 2011 at 12:26 a.m.
Updated May 27, 2011 at 12:27 a.m.
A co-defendant corroborated earlier testimony that a shooting victim's death was the result of a kill or be killed situation.
Thursday marked the third day of the murder trial of John Anthony Trevino, a.k.a. "Chuke," and Gilbert Lamas, a.k.a. "Kilo G."
Trevino, 33, and Lamas, 32, both of Victoria, are charged with murder and engaging in organized criminal activity in connection with the June 2002 shooting death of 22-year-old Victoria resident Timothy "Tim" Hunt.
On June 8, 2002, Hunt was shot while standing outside his family's residence at 212 Ekstrum Street.
Because this case is tied to the gang Hermanos Pistoleros Latinos, the Victoria County District Attorney's Office has asked the Victoria Advocate not to use the names of some witnesses for their protection.
From the stand, Ramiro "Eddie" Salas, 28, told jurors that Lamas was the one who ordered the hit that led to Hunt's death.
Salas, who is currently incarcerated for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and engaging in organized criminal activity, said on June 8, Oscar Ramirez picked him up and told him they were headed to Lamas' house without further explanation.
Upon arrival at Lamas' house, though, Ramirez found the reason for all the secretiveness - he and others had been ordered to kill Fred Valdez.
Ramirez, Salas, Trevino and Jeff Roach, all HPL members, were being ordered to kill Valdez, an HPL member that had supposedly been "X'd out" of the gang, meaning he had been blacklisted and OK'd to be killed.
"(Valdez) was at his house, and we were to go kill him," said Salas, as he recounted what Lamas said to the men.
When Victoria County District Attorney Steve Tyler asked what would have happened if the men opted not to follow through with the order, Salas replied, "We might be able to go home then, but then we would possibly be "X'd out."
Unable to keep his wrongdoing to himself, Trevino supposedly confessed to his then girlfriend the day after the shooting.
"He told me that they had shot somebody," Trevino's ex-girlfriend told jurors. "He told me calmly not to tell anybody."
During the trial, jurors also heard testimony from Hunt's great-aunt, the owner of the house where Hunt was shot and killed.
Hunt's great-aunt said Hunt was at her home participating in a gathering that followed two after parties for a nephew's graduation.
The gathering was hosted without her permission by her son Fred Valdez and lasted until about 3 a.m.
At the end of the party, Hunt's great-aunt said she was awakened when Hunt came in her house's front door to bring the boom box they were using for the party back inside.
After questioning the whereabouts of Valdez, who had left to take some of the partygoers home, Hunt informed her that he was heading home.
Hunt's great-aunt said she closed and locked the front door behind Hunt, but before she could make it back to her bedroom door, she heard gunshots.
"I turned around because I knew Timmy was out there," she said. "My husband held me back."
The great-aunt said it was not until the gunshots ceased that she and her husband headed outside and discovered Hunt's body on the ground next to their house.
Trevino's defense attorney James R. Beeler questioned Hunt's great-aunt about a male and female who attended the party and she discovered to still be in her home after the police, emergency crews and rest of the part attendees had already left the scene.
The male was in possession of the great-aunt's 9 mm gun without her permission.
Beeler questioned her about whether she had ever asked detectives if the male partygoer was responsible for her great nephew's death, which the great-aunt denied.
Jurors also heard testimony from Rae Williams, a former Victoria Police Department ID tech; Calvin Storey, a Texas Department of Public Safety forensic firearms examiner; and Victoria Police Officer John Turner, a first responder at the crime scene.
The trial is scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. on Friday.