LYNNWOOD — A jury will not require to ponder who stabbed Jesse Cardenas Lopez extra than a dozen instances at his Lynnwood apartment.
Encarnacion “EJ” Salas does not dispute that he killed his close buddy at the Avana apartments on 164th Street SW on the evening of Oct. 24, 2014, his defense lawyer Phil Sayles stated Wednesday, at the outset of the defendant’s second murder trial.
“What is in dispute is no matter whether his actions are justified,” Sayles told the jury. “And did he act in self-defense, to fend off Jesse Lopez?”
It is the second time Salas has gone on trial for the similar crime. A jury convicted him of second-degree murder in 2015, soon after a 9½-day trial exactly where Salas claimed self-defense.
The state Court of Appeals overturned a guilty verdict in early 2018, mainly because of technical errors by each the defense and the prosecution.
In closing arguments of the initially trial, a prosecutor showed the jury two images, “juxtaposing a grim photo of Mr. Salas (akin to a mugshot) with a flattering photo of the decedent,” that is, Cardenas Lopez, “posing with a group of cartoon characters at a theme park,” according to the Court of Appeals ruling. A further photo showed Cardenas Lopez happily snuggling on a Ferris wheel ride. The appellate court located the slides created Cardenas Lopez appear childlike, although it created Salas appear aggressive.
Also, the defense lawyer in the initially trial didn’t object to the jury hearing statements created by Salas when he was getting treated at the hospital. He’d reportedly chuckled when he told a medical doctor he killed somebody.
The court located Salas hadn’t received a fair trial.
Salas, 27, entered a Snohomish County courtroom for his second trial Wednesday in a plaid black-and-white shirt, with his black hair pulled back in a ponytail. Deputy prosecutor Tyler Scott outlined the state’s case in about a quarter of an hour. The defense lawyer gave Salas’ side of the story in beneath 10 minutes.
The pair’s connection was, in Salas’ words, “kind of homosexual,” according to quotes in the Court of Appeals ruling. “… It wasn’t a accurate homosexual connection. It was extra attempting to get to that level, to be comfy, in order to get there.”
His buddy created a sexual advance in August 2014, but Salas told him he wasn’t prepared for that, according to Salas’ earlier testimony.
On the evening in query, Sayles stated, Cardenas Lopez groped Salas, and that upset Salas.
They kept hanging out and drinking, although. Then Cardenas Lopez groped Salas once more, “and couldn’t take no for an answer,” Sayles stated. A fight broke out. The two guys wrestled on a balcony. In the defense’s version, Salas acted in self-defense and tore a knife away from Cardenas Lopez. Then in the fight that continued into the kitchen, Salas stabbed his buddy.
In the prosecutor’s version, Cardenas Lopez’s mother had just gone to bed, although her son sat out on the balcony drinking tequila with his buddy. She heard shouting, went to verify that every little thing was OK, and saw her son had a severe reduce on his arm — but no injuries to his neck or face. She witnessed Salas stand more than her son and kill him, Scott stated. She could not pry away the attacker, according to the prosecutor.
“Mom,” Cardenas Lopez cried, according to court papers. “Help me, I’m dying.”
Cardenas Lopez suffered 3 punctures to his lungs, two punctures to his liver, defensive wounds and 3 cuts from ear-to-ear. He bled to death, in spite of neighbors’ efforts to save him.
Salas left bloody footprints as he fled to the woods.
He was arrested the following afternoon, when he returned to his apartment. In the kitchen police located a fitness center bag packed with garments, toiletries, survival gear, honey, 4 jars of peanut butter and a makeshift initially-help kit. Officers located a combat knife in the closet exactly where Salas hid from police. The knife hadn’t been there when police searched the apartment earlier in the day.
Court records show Salas had no felony record.
Cardenas Lopez was born on Christmas Day 1979. His offered initially name was Jesus.
The lead attorneys in the initially trial are no longer on the case. The deputy prosecutor, Cindy Larsen, was elected as a Superior Court judge in 2016.
The public defender was Paul Thompson, who was appointed to be a Superior Court judge in 2018. He’s on the ballot in November.
At sentencing in the initially trial, Judge Bruce Weiss stated the way Cardenas Lopez was killed reminded him of “an animal getting slaughtered by a butcher.” The defense filed a motion in search of to place the case in front of yet another judge this time. Weiss denied the motion. He’s presiding more than the second trial.