A man fatally shot a fleeing stranger in the back without remorse after a chance encounter on a Linda Vista street 2 1/2 years ago, a prosecutor told jurors Wednesday, while a defense attorney maintained that various people blamed her client for the shooting in order to save themselves.
Orlando Javier Sanchez, 32, is charged with murder in the Oct. 15, 2016, slaying of 23-year-old Jordy Lopez, who was walking with a friend in the area of 2200 Comstock Street around 4 a.m. when they encountered the defendant and another man, according to Deputy District Attorney Alison Boutilier.
The prosecutor alleged that following an argument, Sanchez walked to his apartment, retrieved a 40-caliber handgun and shot Lopez in the back. As he lay mortally wounded in the street, the victim told an officer — whose body- worn camera footage was shown to the jury — that Sanchez and his friend fled the scene in a white SUV, which was later found to be insured to Sanchez, Boutilier said.
Lopez died at a hospital about four hours after being shot.
Boutilier told the jury that Sanchez’s DNA was discovered on an expended shell casing found in the street.
She also alleged that Sanchez told multiple people that he fired at two men, telling one person that the pair “stared at him” and telling another person that the men “were bugging us for beer.”
Detectives determined that Sanchez conducted numerous internet searches over a four-month period regarding the shooting and whether a suspect had been captured in the case, the prosecutor alleged.
Defense attorney Jo Super said her client was an “easy target” for others to accuse, and that several people had reasons to lie to police.
While authorities said Sanchez got into an argument with Lopez and his friend, Super alleged that Lopez and his friend were engaged in a fight with others on the night of the shooting, with Lopez’s friend displaying a gun during the brawl.
She also argued that the prosecution’s DNA evidence was not conclusive and that her client could not definitively be identified as a major DNA contributor.
“This is a case about people with everything to lose and they blamed the easy target,” Super said.
Sanchez was arrested in December 2017. He remains in custody on $2 million bail and faces 50 years to life in prison if convicted.
–City News Service
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