Defendant in ‘Drive-By’ Murder Shooting Quizzed on Stand for Second Day

By Kathryn Wood

ALAMEDA – Defendant Jose Lima was called in to the Alameda Superior Court Wednesday morning for the sixth day of trial proceedings, facing charges of murder involving a “drive-by” shooting in Sept. 2017.

Before the jury entered the courtroom, Deputy District Attorney Maggie Calonge requested to admit evidence of two photographs of Lima’s girlfriend, who was with him at the time of his arrest, despite the fact that he said he did not tell her anything about the shooting.

The DDA claims the defense argued that this incident was self-defense, but Lima did not tell his girlfriend that it was self-defense and instead was “lying and saying he was at home,” which was very telling.

Judge Thomas Reardon noted that these images were relevant, however, he ruled to exclude the second photograph of Lima’s girlfriend kissing him on the cheek because he looked “very sinister” and was “frowning.”

After the admission of one of the photographs, Calonge began to question Lima about the details of the fight the night of the shooting.

The day before, Lima had testified that he was with his dad and his friends and they were on their way to go hunting at his dad’s boss’s ranch. On the way, they decided to stop at a liquor store so his dad could buy something. As his father entered the store, Lima mentioned that a group began taking pictures of his father’s truck.

He stated that “in my country when strangers take pictures of a car, it’s because they want to do harm to them.”

Lima explained that he originally got out of the car because he was waiting for his father. He told his friends to stay in the truck because he did not want any trouble and was going to go talk with the group, adding, “I didn’t want them to take a picture of the truck…I just wanted to talk to them.”

Colonge asked if he knew they would get aggressive and want to fight him, Lima responded that he “really didn’t know they were going to get that way” and said he “didn’t want them to take pictures of the truck.”

Colonge argued that Lima had previously stated that they were a threat and that he “was scared.”

Lima claimed that the group started to take advantage of him. He could not recall whether he asked for the gun or whether his friends gave it to him, but Colonge asked Lima whether he knew the gun was loaded, and he responded, “No.”

Lima mentioned that he only fought with one witness, but “does not recall” that he was punched.

After questioning Lima about the key events during the fight, Colonge moved forward to ask Lima about his three-hour interview with police the night of the shooting.

Lima stated that he “told the police everything that happened,” to which Colonge responded, “You didn’t, you told them a particular version.”

Lima admitted that, in the beginning, he might not have told the officers everything, but said that he did later in the interrogation. He mentioned that he was “really tired” and “didn’t remember much of what happened.”

During the rebuttal, Alameda Public Defender Laurel Arroyo noted Lima’s testimony the previous day when the DDA was questioning him, where Lima admitted that he told some lies to the police when he was first interviewed.

“Would you agree that testifying under oath in a court is different than talking to the police?” asked Arroyo, and Lima said he agreed, and added he would never lie under oath on the stand.

Next, Arroyo questioned if Lima “understood that when testifying under oath, it is very important to tell the truth about everything,” and Lima said he understood that it was important and also understood that if he were to lie under oath, it would be a crime.

Arroyo asked Lima if what he “testified on Thursday, yesterday, and today was the truth,” to which he responded, “Yes.”

Arroyo moved to present pictures of the vehicle Lima was driving the night that he was arrested by the police. Lima confirmed that the photos of an “orangey-red” car were an accurate representation of the vehicle.

Next, Arroyo asked Lima why he did not provide one witness’s last name and another witness’s first name, and Lima testified that he “couldn’t remember at the time.”

After Arroyo questioned why Lima did not tell his girlfriend what had happened, he admitted that he “did not want her to get upset.”

Arroyo pointed out that, yesterday, there were a number of times that the prosecutor asked him a question and he replied, “Yes, but can I respond?” She then offered to go through these questions in order for Lima to clarify what he wanted to say.

The prosecutor had asked a question involving how he didn’t have a black eye the next day when he spoke to the police, and Lima claimed now that “once I was taken to the doctor the next day when I was arrested…they examined me and said that my face was hit,” replied Lima. The judge acknowledged that a witness had indicated that Lima was hit above his left eye.

Arroyo asked Lima if he was “worried that the next time they saw the truck they would do harm” to his dad, and he responded that he was “afraid” that that would happen, and that’s why he thought he could clear everything up by going to talk to the group and explain that the truck was his father’s car.

Lima told the witness to “take the ring off…and the chain off” as he proceeded to take off his bag and sweatshirt. He admitted that he heard someone say to “put the gun down and fight with you fists” multiple times but he stated that he “didn’t want any trouble” and “didn’t want to fight anyone.”

Arroyo asked Lima to explain why he placed his hand on the sweatshirt where the gun was. Lima stated that “they were too close to me… I was scared they might take the gun away from me.” But he maintained that he was not aiming for the witness when he fired the gun.

Arroyo repeated the DDA’s question of whether Lima “understood his Miranda rights,” and Lima admitted he “didn’t really understand” because, in his country, they “have to talk to the police.”

“In 2017 did you understand in the police interview that you could have said, ‘No I don’t want to talk,’” asked Arroyo.

“They said I have to talk so I did,” replied Lima.

Arroyo mentioned that the prosecution accused Lima of lying to the police throughout his interrogation. Arroyo walked through his conversation with the police to clarify what he said to the officers.

Lima explained that he told the police that his friend had pointed the gun outside the car toward the group, and that the group was previously taking pictures of the truck before Lima exited the vehicle.

He said he told the police that his friends handed him the gun and insisted that he “didn’t want them to take pictures of the license plate” and he “didn’t have any problems with them.”

He then told the police that he brought a gun because he “thought they were carrying guns, too” and mentioned that he saw a witness that had one as well.

After he pulled out the gun, Lima said he “unintentionally reacted badly” and “wasn’t paying attention” to where he shot the victim.

At the end of the interview the police conducted on that night in 2017, they questioned Lima about whether he had ever shot at the group “on the mountains,” but Lima replied that he “didn’t know anything about it,” and didn’t know if his friends had done so.

Lima said one police officer even exclaimed, “You’re a bad liar buddy…didn’t your friends ever tell you they shot at them?” Lima said, “I don’t know if they might have done it… they didn’t tell me.”

During the recross-examination, Colonge attempted to shut down Lima’s claim that he had a black eye when he visited the doctor in jail.

When Colonge asked Lima what the doctor’s name was, he said that he did not recall, since the interaction only lasted 10 minutes and the doctor failed to introduce himself.

“Do you have any medical records of this…any photos… anything to back up what you’re saying?” questioned Colonge, to which Lima stated that he did not have any medical records nor photos, but there could be a report “in the computer at the jail.”

As Arroyo continued, she moved to present a stipulation that Colonge agreed to, which included a witness’s testimony at the preliminary hearing in 2019.

The witness was asked to describe the events after Lima shot the victim. He explained that he was “freaked out” because Lima had just shot him right in front him, and then began to move to the right side of the road when realized that he started “feeling a lot of pain” and noticed that he had been shot, too. The witness was asked if he heard a second gunshot, but he did not remember.

During the rebuttal, Colonge called in an officer that was present during Lima’s arrest, and when Colonge questioned whether the officer noticed if Lima had bruising, a black eye, cuts, or broken bones, the officer responded, “No ma’m.”

During the cross=examination, Arroyo asked the officer if Lima was arrested in an orange car the night of the incident. Although his notes referenced an orange Toyota, the officer stated that “he believed the vehicle was burgundy.”Kathryn Wood is a third year at UC Davis, majoring in Political Science-Public Service and minoring in Professional Writing and Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning. She is from Petaluma, California.


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