Suffering a head wound, a Fresno man told police he was the victim of a shooting. But a Superior Court jury this week said he is guilty of the attempted murder of an unarmed man in January 2015.
In his trial, Manuel Garcia Flores, 36, said 34-year-old Marcus Jackson shot at him first and the bullet grazed his forehead. But the evidence revealed that Flores shot Jackson in the left shoulder and then several times in the back at an apartment complex on Marks Avenue near Dakota Avenue in central Fresno, prosecutor Andrew Janz said.
The severely wounded Jackson had no choice but to fight for his life, engaging Flores in hand-to-hand combat, Janz told the jury.
During the fight, Jackson overpowered Flores and threw him to the ground, causing Flores to suffer a deep cut to his forehead, Janz said.
Severely wounded, Marcus Jackson had no choice but to fight for his life, the prosecutor said.
Once Jackson learned Flores no longer had a gun, he ran to a nearby parking lot and called 911. But when police arrived, Jackson and Flores both claimed to be victims. They were taken to a hospital, where Jackson was treated for five gunshot wounds and Flores was treated for a head wound, Janz said.
Janz said Flores was charged after giving detectives untruthful statements about Jackson and after detectives searched his home and recovered a firearm and ammunition similar to the type used to shoot Jackson.
The gun used to shoot Jackson, however, was never recovered.
The trial in Judge W. Kent Hamlin’s courtroom started with a hitch because Terrance Thompson, a key witness to the confrontation between Flores and Jackson, was unable to testify; he was hospitalized after being shot four times outside a Fresno liquor store at Belmont Avenue and First Street on Aug. 31. The shooting remains unsolved.
The trial in Judge W. Kent Hamlin’s courtroom started with a hitch because a key witness was unable to testify after he was shot and wounded outside a southeast Fresno liquor store on Aug. 31.
According to Janz, there was “bad blood” between Flores and Jackson because Flores’ wife is a friend of Jackson’s estranged wife.
Janz told the jury Jackson and his estranged wife were going through a messy custody battle. Flores’ wife became involved in the dispute when she said she served Jackson with a restraining order on behalf of his estranged wife. But Jackson said he never was served because he was out of town on the date Flores’ wife swore in court documents that she gave him the court documents.
Jackson then started telling people that Flores’ wife committed perjury and should be arrested. This caused Flores to become upset with Jackson, Janz said.
The shooting happened in the early evening hours of Jan. 15, 2015. Thompson, a mutual acquaintance of Flores and Jackson, had asked Jackson to come to the apartment complex to look at Thompson’s car. Jackson had sold the car to Thompson and Thompson claimed it had mechanical problems, Janz told the jury. When Jackson arrived, he saw Thompson and Flores together at the complex.
Thompson told Jackson he was able to fix his vehicle. He then asked Jackson to stay awhile and help him move some boxes and furniture into an apartment. That’s when Flores got a gun from his pickup and started firing at Jackson, Janz said.
In the trial, Flores said he was wearing a baseball cap when he was shot. But there was no evidence to show the cap had been struck by a bullet, Janz said.
A jury of seven men and five women deliberated only a few hours before convicting Flores late Tuesday afternoon. In addition to attempted murder, Flores was convicted of assault with a firearm and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Once the verdict was announced, Flores, who had been free on his own recognizance, was handcuffed and taken to jail. He faces 34 years to life when he is sentenced in Superior Court on Oct. 12.