Felipe Estrada takes the stand to recount day of shootingFargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Emotional testimony today from a Dilworth man on trial for attempted murder. Felipe Estrada is accused of shooting Juan Garza multiple times outside the West Acres Cinema last summer. Today in front of a jury Estrada told his side of the story.
Emotional testimony today from a Dilworth man on trial for attempted murder. Felipe Estrada is accused of shooting Juan Garza multiple times outside the West Acres Cinema last summer. Today in front of a jury Estrada told his side of the story.
Felipe Estrada looked distraught as he recounted the day of June 5th. He said it all began when his ex-girlfriend, DeShawn Stodola, asked him to meet her in the theatre parking lot. Estrada said he saw Stodola pull up in a van with her ex-husband, Juan Garza.
Felipe Garza – Accused of Attempted Murder: “I've always been afraid of him.”
Estrada said he got of his truck and headed to the van. That's when Garza started cursing him. Then Estrada says he noticed Garza had a gun.
Steve Mottinger – Defense Attorney: “You're positive you saw Juan with a gun?”
Felipe Estrada: “100%”
Estrada says he then went back to his truck, got his own gun and started firing.
Felipe Estrada: “My intention was to disarm him. My intent was not to kill.”
Garza was struck several times. During cross examination, Attorney Gary Euren questioned whether or not Estrada really saw Garza with a weapon.
Gary Euren = Prosecuting Attorney: “Why didn't you tell Detective Holte or any other detective that Juan had a gun and exactly what happened like you did today?”
Felipe Estrada: “On the one hand because I was injured and I was confused.”
Earlier in the trial, Defense Attorney Steve Mottinger called Garza's wife, Jodi Garza, to the stand. Jodi saw her husband before he left to pick up Stodola.
Steve Mottinger: “Do you recall telling Detective Holte that Juan supposedly made a statement to the fact that he was going to take care of this and put an end to this nonsense today?”
Jodi Garza – Juan Garza’s Ex-Wife: “I don't recall that statement.”
Estrada's ex-wife Christine LaCoursiere also testified, saying she's still shocked by the shootings.
Steve Mottinger: “Would it be out of character for him to do something like that?”
Christine LaCoursiere – Estrada’s Ex-Wife: “Yes.”
The trial continues tomorrow morning. The defense and prosecution are expected to make their closing statements. During the trial, Estrada also testified that he never intended to harm theater patrons or Stodola.