Jury begins deliberations in trial of alleged Pasadena gang members accused of murder, mayhem

Nathan McIntire

April 28th 2010

PASADENA – Two separate juries began deliberations Wednesday in the trial of two alleged gang members accused of killing a man and maiming another in what prosecutors called a “hunting expedition.”
Jose Arnaud, 22, and Tomas Ramirez, 29, and another member of the Pasadena Latin Kings (PLK) armed themselves with a gun and set out find rivals in the early morning hours of Dec. 28, 2008, prosecutors alleged.
“They got into a car that night with a loaded gun, looking for somebody,” Deputy District Attorney Shelley Dominguez said.
They happened upon a group of four men in the 500 block of North Mar Vista Street in Pasadena, prosecutor said. When the three saw the men, Ramirez stopped the car and they all got out, according to Dominguez.
The group “hit up” the men – asking them what gang they were from, she said. Then Arnaud opened fire, shooting Raymond Salcedo once in the head. Salcedo lost an eye in the attack, Dominguez said.
Rodolfo Macias was shot three times in the head and once in the body, she said.
“The person that shot made a cold, calculated decision to end Rodolfo Macias’ life as he shot the first time, the second time, the third time and the fourth time, while his first victim was lying on the ground,” Dominguez said.
The other two men, Adrian Nava and Edwin Galvez, escaped without injury and testified in the case. Dominguez said none of the four men had any involvement with gangs.
Arnaud and Advertisement Ramirez each face charges of murder, attempted murder and mayhem.
Arnaud’s attorney, William Jacobson, told a jury during his closing argument that key witnesses who identified his client as the shooter provided conflicting testimony and had been drinking heavily the night of the alleged attack.
“Those witnesses are simply unreliable because they came in here and testified to things that did not happen,” Jacobson said.
Detectives testified that the area where the confrontation took place was the territory of the Villa Boys, a rival of PLK, according to Jacobson.
Nava identified Ramirez during testimony as the shooter but also said he drank between 15 and 17 beers the night of the shooting, according to Jacobson.
Galvez identified Arnaud as the shooter, Dominguez said.
Ramirez also claimed Arnaud was the shooter, according to Jason Rubel, Ramirez’s attorney.
Rubel told jurors again Wednesday that his client did not know that a crime would take place when he was driving Arnaud around that night.
“He was doing things unknowingly that resulted in this horrible crime,” Rubel said.
Dominguez called that claim “ridiculous.”
“Tomas Ramirez did not get out of that car to keep the peace,” she said. “He was an active participant.”
The case is being deliberated by two juries, one for each defendant, because of legal requirements that certain evidence be considered independently, Dominguez said.
Dario Ramirez, the third man with Arnaud and Ramirez the night of the shooting, faces the same charges and is being tried separately, said Jesse Robles, his attorney.

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