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Day two in restaurant murder trial

A detective took the stand, new evidence presented

Day two in restaurant murder trial

YUMA, Ariz. - New details on day two in the trial of a man accused of killing another man outside a Yuma restaurant in 2014.

Tuesday in court, the state continued building its case against Modesto Cortes-Serrillo, who's accused of murdering Santiago Olivo Diaz. Prosecutors introduced surveillance video, bullet casings, and a firearm as evidence. 

The jury was shown surveillance video of inside Lin's Grand Buffet and exterior footage from April 13th of 2014. In the video, you can see where Cortes-Serrillo was sitting in proximity to his ex-wife and the victim. Detectives said they were only several tables apart, and that Cortes-Serrillo had a clear view of Diaz and of his ex-wife.

Investigators then walked the jury through crime scene photos and what witnesses said happened that afternoon. Detective Adrian Rodriguez told jurors they collected thirty-five physical items as evidence from the scene. Some of those items included a fork that was found east of the main entrance outside of Lin's, five bullet casings, and five shrapnels. 

Former homicide detective Robert Trabower, now a patrol sergeant for Yuma police, took the stand explaining to jurors through surveillance video the moments leading up to the gunshots. He also said Cortes went to his car, where he pulled out a gun and a magazine and made his way to approach the victim. He also said Cortes-Serrillo reloaded the weapon but didn't fire it because of a possible fault in the weapon. Trabower said five shots were fired fairly quickly at the victim giving an indication that Cortes was well-trained with firearms. 

Samuel Ramirez, a former co-worker of Cortes told jurors also took the witness stand. He told jurors that Cortes "was not an easily frustrated person". 

On April 13th, 2014, Ramirez received a call from Cortes asking for a ride. He asked why, and Cortes responded saying he had killed someone. 

Ramirez did not believe him at the time. He told him he couldn't because he had a few beers, so he sent him a cab. Cortes called Ramirez again saying he didn't need it. Since that day, he hadn't heard from Cortes. 

The jury must decide whether this was premeditated or not. 


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