By Esmeralda Figueroa
On Wednesday morning, the jury trial for the 2016 stabbing death of Ronald Antonio reconvened. Alexis Velazquez and Justin Gonzalez are charged with murder and numerous gang enhancements.
First to question DA Investigator Aaron Moe was Attorney Roberto Marquez, who represents Alexis Velazquez. Marquez showed Investigator Moe a photo of Velazquez exhibiting gang signs and asked Moe to interpret its meaning. Moe replied: “He is throwing a B which represents Bosque, a known gang.”
Marquez followed by asking Moe if he was familiar with the photo. Moe indicated he was not familiar with the photo, in fact, according to Moe, it was the first time he was shown that photo of Velazquez. Marquez then questioned Moe about statements Moe had made during the preliminary hearing that took place back in 2016.
Marquez showed Investigator Moe a transcript in which Moe had indicated that Velazquez had earned his “B” by killing the victim Mr. Antonio. Moe confirmed that Velazquez did earn his “B” the night of August 30, 2016., and emphasized that Velazquez had incriminated himself shortly after his arrest.
According to Moe, during a jail telephone call, Velazquez had told another gang-member that he had earned his “B” the night the incident occurred.
Once again, Mr. Marquez showed Moe the photo of Velazquez displaying a “B” and proceeded to ask Moe if Velazquez had been released since his arrest, to which Moe replied, “No.”
Second to cross-examine Investigator Moe was Attorney Keith Staten who represents Justin Gonzalez. Staten asked Moe if it was a “bad thing” for a gang member to stop another gang member
from committing any type of act, and Moe replied, “It depends, but not necessarily.”
Mr. Staten was referring to a surveillance video of Gonzalez holding Velazquez back while Velazquez was approaching another male. Again, Staten attempted to ask Moe the same question in a different way, however, Moe redirected his answer to another hypothetical question.
Staten again asked Moe if it was a bad thing for a gang member to stop another gang member from committing any type of act. However, Moe refused to answer the question and stated, “We are going around in circles, I said it depends. I attempted to answer your question by elaborating but you cut me off.”
Third to question Moe was District Attorney Jeff Reisig on redirect. Reisig presented Moe with a scenario: “If two gang members approach a rival to hood-check him but the rival has a weapon and one of the two stops their hood member, is that a sign of cowardice? Moe, replied, “No.” Then Reisig asked Moe if Velasquez was a “soldier” before earning his “B,” and the investigator indicated, “Yes.”
Mr. Staten then proceeded on recross to question Moe. Staten asked Moe if he was willing to accept and answer a hypothetical question as he did for DA Reisig, and Moe replied: “I will listen to your question.” Again Staten asked Moe what it would indicate for a gang member to stop another gang member from committing any act, but Moe refused to answer the question by again replying, “It depends.”
Investigator Moe was dismissed.
The trial will reconvene for closing arguments on Thursday, December 7, 2017 at 9 am in Department 10.