By Neha Malhi
RIVERSIDE, CA – The murder trial of Alexander Richard Aguayo, who is suspected of shooting and killing his neighbor, goes before the jury Monday in Riverside County Superior Court—on Friday, the court held final pretrial motions.
Last May 4, the victim, Raul Carbajal, 37, was found lying on the ground in his garage. According to the police investigation, he was pronounced dead at the scene and the suspect fled the scene after shooting the victim.
Aguayo was taken into custody on the same day, arrested nearby by police officers when he tried to drive away from the crime scene. The alleged motive for the killing is yet to be revealed.
According to the jail records, the police arrested Aguayo on suspicion of felony discharge of firearm and also carrying a loaded firearm in public. Previously, his bail was set at $1 million and his defense attorney’s petition to reduce his bond requirement was rejected by the judge.
Friday, in anticipation of Monday’s trial start and after the judge deliberating for a long time, both the defense and prosecution agreed to include the raw data and observation from a doctor about Aguayo’s cognitive test and IQ. Previously the defense said it was not going to submit the information, but after the judge’s questions, it was agreed to do so.
As a result, the prosecution requested the judge to allow him to hire another trained practitioner for cross-examination, noting, “In my experience in the past with the people’s witnesses that have licensed practitioners, they don’t turn over the raw data outside of their profession.” The judge agreed to the prosecution’s request.
The prosecution also requested the judge allow Aguayo’s spontaneous statements to a police officer at the time of arrest as evidence in trial, which were “he was trying to kill me, I took his gun and shot him.”
According to the deputy’s report, these spontaneous statements were an unrecorded series of statements. The decision has yet to be made regarding accepting it as evidence, as these statements were not made during interrogation and it may violate the defendant’s Miranda rights.
The prosecution argued, “I believe the California law indicates that if the defendant is in custody and subject (to interrogation), Miranda warnings must be given. However, there is an exception to that rule and that is where public safety is involved and that’s where law enforcement has an objectively reasonable need to protect the public from immediate danger.”
The jury trial starts Monday, Sept. 13, in Dept. 44.