Jurors began deliberating Thursday afternoon in the murder trial of a man accused of fatally shooting a fleeing stranger in the back on a Linda Vista street in 2016.
Orlando Javier Sanchez, 32, is charged with 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 two men 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 in order “to save themselves.”
Super said Lopez’s friend had been involved in a fight with others on the night of the shooting, in which he brandished a gun.
She told jurors not to make too much of Sanchez being the insurer of the alleged getaway vehicle. According to Super, Sanchez purchased the SUV months after the shooting, which didn’t make sense if he was concerned about being implicated in Lopez’s killing.
She alleged that several prosecution witnesses, facing prison time for their involvement in other crimes, blamed Sanchez to help themselves.
“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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