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Published March 13, 2012, 07:05 PM

Trial underway for man accused of West Acres Cinema shooting

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The trial is underway in a case involving a Dilworth man who is accused of opening fire outside the West Acres Cinema. The jury heard from several witnesses, including the shooting victim himself.

The trial is underway in a case involving a Dilworth man who is accused of opening fire outside the West Acres Cinema. The jury heard from several witnesses, including the shooting victim himself.

Juan Carlos Garza – Shooting Victim: “I was fighting for my life. I didn’t care about anyone but myself, and then I saw him talk to Shawn and it was a totally different story. That’s the mother of my babies.”

On June 5th Juan Garza was struck seven times with gun shots.The man behind the gun, prosecutors say, was Felipe Estrada.

Kara Schmitz – Olson – Prosecutor: "That audio was running while he was in the squad car, while he was in there by himself he made statements such as 'right to kill him, it was right to kill him."

Garza and Estrada both had relations with the same woman - DeShawn Stodola. The state says Stodola was also targeted in that attack. But today, the defense said Estrada was actually defending himself.

Steve Mottinger – Defense Attorney: "And you will understand what he did and why he did it, just listen and you will understand what he did was in self-defense and why at the end of this case you'll return a verdict of not guilty."

After opening arguments, the state called several witnesses. Marlys Bjerkness says she saw Stodola and Garza running from Estrada while parked outside.

Marlys Bjerkness – Witness: "Well then I understood he's shooting at those people and I ducked down cause I had all this open area in front of me."

Joann Swanson was inside the theatre at the time with her granddaughters.

Joann Swanson – Witness: "I saw one of the big front windows completely shatter and I saw a big hole in it and I knew it was a gunshot.

The trial will resume tomorrow, it's expected to last four days. In Fargo, Rachel Lake WDAY 6 News.

Felipe Estrada of Dilworth has pleaded not guilty to two counts of aggravated assault, aggravated reckless endangerment and aggravated assault.

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