A man who shot a Clairemont resident in the back of the head outside the victim’s home was convicted of first-degree murder Thursday.
Jeffery Alan Turner, 37, is slated to be sentenced July 11 for the shooting of 52-year-old Frank “Pancho” Magana.
The victim was shot at around 7 p.m. Jan. 3, 2018, while exiting the front door of his home in the 4600 block of Sauk Avenue. Officers found him on the ground in front of his residence and provided medical aid before he was taken to a local hospital, where he died on Jan. 16.
Deputy District Attorney Kristie Nikoletich told jurors in her opening statement that a friend of Magana’s was at the home and heard someone approach the victim and twice say “It’s J.T,” just before the shooting. Magana’s friend did not see the shooter, but later informed police she knew the defendant and believed he was “J.T.,” Nikoletich said.
The prosecutor said Magana appeared annoyed when “J.T.” showed up at his home, indicating they likely knew each other.
Police searched a home where Turner was staying, turning up a revolver that was matched to the splintered pieces of a bullet found in the victim and at the shooting scene, the prosecutor alleged. She also said that both Turner and Magana’s DNA were found on the gun.
Surveillance footage taken from the home where Turner was staying was played for the jury by Nikoletich, who alleged that Turner could be seen celebrating outside the residence hours after the shooting. The prosecutor also said Turner was making speeches to someone off camera and mimicking bowling strikes.
None of the eight cameras situated outside the home showed that he was at the residence at the time of the shooting, she said.
Turner’s attorney, John O’Connell, told jurors that while hospitalized, Magana repeated the name “Elijah” to officers when they inquired about the shooter.
“The prosecutor is going to ask you not to believe the victim, who had no reason to lie,” O’Connell told the jury.
The attorney alleged that the prosecution’s ballistics evidence matching the revolver to the bullet was “bad science.”
He also said Magana’s DNA on the revolver was not the result of “blow back” as the prosecution claimed, but rather contamination from investigators, who he claimed inadvertently transferred Magana’s DNA from the shooting scene to the gun.
Further, he said the victim’s DNA did not come from blood, as one would expect, and that it was found on a part of the gun that made no sense in relation to the shooting.
–City News Service
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