Jury selection is set to start this week in the Santa Barbara County Superior Court trial of a man accused of shooting another man in northwest Santa Maria in 2020.
Jesus Juarez Garcilazo, 21, has been charged with murder plus several sentencing enhancements alleging use of a gun and street terrorism.
Santa Maria police officers responded shortly before 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 18, 2020, to the 800 block of West Donovan Road for a report of gunfire in the area.
Upon arrival, they located Kevin Nunez-Escamilla, 20, with a fatal gunshot wound. The suspect had fled from the scene.
Detectives tracked the suspect gunman to the California city of Lindsay in Tulare County, and took him into custody days after the shooting.
The victim and the defendant had ties to rival gangs, according to police.
Nunez-Escamilla reportedly was shot twice — in the back of his head and the center of his back, according to court documents.
A disassembled Glock pistol plus ammunition were found in the defendant’s duffel bag, law enforcement officers said.
Attorneys Jordan Lockey for the prosecution and Erica Sutherland for the defense will argue pre-trial motions on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Questioning of potential jurors could begin as soon as Thursday in Judge John McGregor’s courtroom.
The trial is expected to last several weeks.
Garcilazo remains in the custody of the Northern Branch Jail, with bail set at $3 million.
— Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.