Day 7 of La Mesa Street Murders Trial; Victim's dad testifies of unusual phone calls

Day 7 of La Mesa Street Murders Trial

The victims' family members took the witness stand for the first time in the "La Mesa Street Murders" Trial. 

The first witness to the stand was a Schwan's food delivery employee who often delivered meals to the family.

Lucio Marquez Alvarez told the jury that he had a set route to deliver food around the area near La Mesa Street.

Alvarez said he was at a neighbors house when they reminded him that the family at 2037 E. La Mesa wanted a delivery as well. 

Alvarez said he went to the home and knocked several times, but no one answered the door. 

During the cross-examination, Defense Attorney Ray Hanna,  asked Alvarez whether he had a brain injury from the accident in 2005. 

Alvarez responded, “My short-term memory is affected a little from the accident.”

The next witness to take the stand was Danny Heredia Jr., 29-year-old Adrienne Heredia's ex-husband.

Danny Heredia testified that on the day of the murders he had been babysitting Danny Heredia III, 6,  and Inez Newman, 9.

Heredia said he went to Adrienne's new home, at about 6 p.m., to drop-off the kids but Adrienne never answered the door.

Heredia said Adrienne's car, a PT Cruiser, was in the driveway but there as no response from inside the home. He said he also tried calling her several times and she never answered.

According to Heredia, he decided to head back to his place with the children.

As he was leaving the neighborhood, Heredia says he saw Luis Rios drive past him, so he turned around and followed him to the home.

After a brief exchange, Heredia says he left the kids with Rios. It would be the last time he would see them alive.

According to Heredia, a short time later he got an unusual phone call from Rios.

Heredia said that Rios called him from Adrienne's phone and said,  “Adrienne is tripping.”

“I told him to tell her if she needs anything, call me. I was pretty much saying 'do you need me to take the kids?'” Heredia said.

Heredia said he returned to the home a second time later that night, to drop off some clean laundry and a baseball glove.

Heredia said he knocked on the door several times and still no one answered, though both Rios' and Adrienne's cars were in the driveway.

Heredia said he left two plastic bags with clothing at the front door and left.

Soon after, Heredia said he received another call from Rios saying, “Everything is okay.”

Moreover, Heredia also testified that the defendant,Preston Strong, approached him at a car wash before the night of the murders.

"Are you Danny’s dad?” Strong asked.

"Yes," Heredia replied.

Heredia says the defendant had a video of little Danny doing push ups because he would go to R.C. Liquor to play video games. Every time he would lose a game, Danny did push ups.  

Two other witnesses took the stand on Friday.

The Prosecution called Adrienne Heredia's mother Dora Horta to the stand.

Horta said she was supposed to babysit the two youngest children, Danny and Inez, that evening. Adrienne had asked her to babysit the children because she had a softball game that evening at 6 p.m.

However, Horta said Adrienne never arrived at the home. Horta said she also tried calling Adrienne several times but there was no answer. 

"She never brought them late to me, which is why I thought it was weird," Horta said.

The last witness to take the stand on Friday was retired Yuma Police Department Detective Cruz Vidal.

Vidal said she was tasked with logging the evidence processed by detectives at the home and vehicles. 

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