Graphic photos, questionable testimony heard in trial for alleged Barrio Azteca Gang leader
Updated: Wednesday, February 12 2014, 09:36 PM MST
By: Melissa Gundersen
EL PASO, Texas -- Graphic photos of a U.S. Consulate employee and her husband were shown in federal court Wednesday, causing some people to look away, avoiding the vision of multiple bullets holes through the couple’s bodies.
Chief Medical Examiner Juan Contin performed autopsies on the couple, Lesley Enriquez and Arthur Redfels, four days after they were gunned down in the streets of Juarez. The slayings happened on March 13, 2010. On Wednesday afternoon, Contin explained the photos to the jury and also showed them a diagram of each bullet wound.
First Contin talked about Redfels' death. Contin said he counted nine bullet entrances on his body, highlighting the deadly shot through Redfels' neck.
"Death would occur within minutes," said Contin.
Testimony revealed Redfels was killed while sitting in his SUV, driving away from a children's birthday party where he brought his young daughter.
Next, Contin talked about Enriquez’s death. He said she was standing outside of the SUV when she was gunned down. He pointed out a bullet wound on her face, which left huge bruises to her right eye.
These are killings one witness, Miguel Angel Nevarez, a hitman for the Barrio Azteca gang, said he was involved in. On Tuesday, Nevarez told jurors he was instructed to follow and kill the couple and another man, even though he claimed they didn't fit the description of who he was originally told to kill.
Nevarez said gang leader Arturo Gallegos-Castrellon was the one who gave the orders. Castrellon-Gallegos allegedly told gang members to be on the lookout for a white Honda Pilot, driven by a rival gang member who was allegedly following his wife. Gang members testified they found a white Honda Pilot and another white SUV, but it was driven by Redfels, Enriquez and another American man. Nevarez said he was instructed to follow the two SUVs and kill the U.S. victims anyway.
Defense attorney Randolph Ortega questioned how Nevarez knew it was Gallegos-Castrellon giving orders, since they allegedly communicated through a radio system. Attorneys pointed out Nevarez never saw faces, he just heard voices.
"So you couldn't have gotten it wrong?" asked Ortega.
"No," Nevarez said.
"So you never make mistakes?" asked Ortega.
Ortega then talked to Nevarez about his motives for cooperating with the government.
"I was told if everything went well the judge would determine if my sentence would be reduced," said Nevarez.
Nevarez said he is serving 10 life sentences. He also claimed if Gallegos-Castrellon is convicted, he and his family would also be able to live in the United States legally.
"During your time as a criminal it was your job to deceive people, right?" asked Ortega, trying to rid Nevarez of his credibility.
The trial for Gallegas-Castrellon continues in federal court Thursday morning.