Counsel delivers closing arguments for 1991 triple homicide trial

Four weeks after the murder trial against Benito Valdez began, counsel gave their closing arguments for the 1991 triple homicide case. The trial began on Jan. 23.

During the prosecution’s closing argument, Assistant United States Attorney Laura Bach reviewed DNA samples found on Samantha Gillard‘s body. Bach said Gillard, 23, and Valdez’s DNA were mixed together and found on Gillard’s left arm jacket sleeve and on her pants.

The prosecution also said making the victims lay face down and firing 17 times with two separate guns qualified as first-degree murder.

The defense disagreed, saying Valdez was not guilty. Valdez’s attorney, Madalyn Harvey, said the prosecution had not proved its case.

Judge Judith Bartnoff also struck Michael A. Green’s testimony about Valdez paying someone named “Tricky Rick” to tell officers that he and Valdez were elsewhere during the homicide.

The prosecution is scheduled to give their rebuttal on Feb. 14.

Valdez is charged with first-degree murder while armed for allegedly fatally shooting Curtis Pixley, 29, Keith Simmons, 24, and Gillard.

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