Attorney asks that murder case against client be dropped

Published October 11, 2012 7:49 pm
Courts • He argues nobody can pin client to smoke-shop slaying.
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The attorney for a man accused of driving the getaway car from a March murder scene wants all the charges against his client dropped.

After a day and a half of testimony during a preliminary hearing this week, none of the witnesses to the March 14 shooting of Stephen Guadalupe Chavez identified Vladimir Suarez-Campos as the getaway driver, prompting a defense attorney to ask for a dismissal.

"What we have here is Lee Harvey Oswald being arrested and everyone else on the grassy knoll who doesn't have an alibi is the second shooter," defense attorney Kent Morgan said Thursday.

Third District Judge Katie Bernards-Goodman took the case against Suarez-Campos and the alleged gunman, Yelfris Sosa-Hurtado, under advisement and will rule at a later date on whether the men should stand trial on the charges against them.

According to testimony, Sosa-Hurtado, 26, got into a fight with Chavez, also 26, at C.J.'s Smoke Shop on the night of March 14. Half an hour later, Sosa-Hurtado allegedly came back to the shop and fatally shot Chavez.

Sosa-Hurtado faces a charge of aggravated murder and nine counts of felony discharge of a firearm. Prosecutors could seek the death penalty in his case. His attorneys, however, argue that the aggravating factors in the case should be dropped, taking death off the table.

Suarez-Campos, who was allegedly waiting in the car outside the shop during the shooting, faces one count of murder, a first-degree felony, and nine counts of felony discharge of a firearm for his alleged role in the killing.

Prosecutors believe Suarez-Campos was the driver because he and Sosa-Hurtado were seen together before and after the shooting. Cellphone records and cellphone tower pings also add to the circumstantial case against the 38-year-old Suarez-Campos, prosecutors said.


Twitter: @aaronfalk



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