FAIRFIELD — After three days of jury selection, jurors began hearing witness testimony Wednesday as prosecutors began their case against a Vacaville man who faces a murder charge for a 2011 fatal shooting.
Rico M. Espitia, 22, is accused of shooting 20-year-old Quinten D. Nears several times in the parking lot of an apartment complex on the 1500 block of Alamo Drive on the night of July 30, 2011.
The most compelling testimony of the day came from a woman who described herself as Nears’ best friend. She recounted walking out of a Vacaville liquor store with Nears several weeks before the shooting and encountering Espitia in the store’s parking lot. She described a confrontation Espitia had with Nears, telling him “he had something for him,” and then lifting up his shirt to reveal a gun tucked into his waistband.
Other witnesses described hearing several gunshots on the night of the killing and seeing several people running from the apartment complex.
A deputy with the coroner’s office and the doctor who performed the autopsy on Nears told jurors that Nears had been shot three times.
Prosecutor Julie Underwood is expected to continue presenting her case when the trial resumes Thursday morning.
Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.