Trial begins again in Utah murder
After a mistrial derailed court proceedings earlier this year, a man accused in a deadly Riverside Park shooting was back in court this week.
Francisco Alverez's murder trial is scheduled to run through Friday before 3rd District Judge Elizabeth Hruby-Mills.
Alverez, 57, faces a charge of first-degree felony murder in the May 2011 death of 29-year-old Jorge Veracruz.
Alverez and Veracruz were part of a group hanging out and drinking in Riverside Park, 700 N. 1400 West, on the evening of May 5, 2011.
The two men began arguing, and soon there was talk of fighting. When Veracruz walked away, Alverez fired three shots from a semiautomatic handgun, prosecutors say.
One shot struck Veracruz in the back of the right arm. A second went into the right side of his back. A third shot hit the left side of Veracruz's back, piercing his spleen, stomach and aorta before stopping in his lung.
Defense attorneys have said Alverez was protecting himself from a perceived threat. Alverez's defense attorney said the man believed Veracruz was going to rob him and fired only when he saw the victim reaching for something in a bag.
A mistrial was declared in October after a witness offered testimony defense attorneys said tainted the jury.
Alverez was convicted of homicide in 1980 for running over 59-year-old David Bingham with a truck in Ogden the previous year. Alverez was paroled in 1985 but has spent time in state and federal prison since then for various crimes.
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