A Pasco teen spent 1 1/2 hours on the witness stand Tuesday recounting the night she saw her parents get shot.
Erika Garcia Ramirez told jurors she was on her computer listening to music when she heard gunshots in the living room.
She and her younger sister Maricela emerged from their bedrooms at the same time to find their parents wounded and two men with guns.
Garcia Ramirez, now 18 and a senior at Chiawana High School, said she knew the men because they were relatives by marriage.
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She pointed to one of them in court -- Jose Garcia-Morales, 28, who sat slumped over in his chair. He is on his trial in Franklin County Superior Court for the Dec. 10, 2008, killing of her father, Alfredo Garcia, and the wounding of her mom, Maria Ramirez de Garcia.
The other assailant was Ramon Garcia-Morales, who is doing 67 years in prison for the crimes.
Garcia Ramirez was so soft-spoken during her testimony that the lawyers often had to ask her to speak up. One juror during recess even requested a headset connected to the courtroom audio system so he could hear the teen.
Special Prosecutor Terry Bloor asked what happened after Garcia Ramirez walked out and saw her wounded parents.
"After shooting them, (the suspects) went to the table, reloaded their guns and went back to shooting them. And in between shooting them, they switched guns and Jose went to the door, looked outside and came back in," she said.
Garcia Ramirez said the men pointed their guns at the girls, but her dad pleaded with them to spare his daughters. That's when Ramon Garcia-Morales shot her father several more times before the brothers ran from the house, she said.
Questions from Bloor and defense lawyer Moe Spencer showed that Garcia Ramirez has been interviewed a number of times about the traumatic event, including that night and the following day by officers and detectives, by prosecutors and attorneys during the past three years and on the stand for Ramon's trial and now for Jose.
Garcia Ramirez repeatedly testified Tuesday that she can't remember what she has said previously. She told jurors that she remembers seeing both Ramon and Jose shoot her parents, then later read prior trial transcripts in which she stated Ramon was the only shooter.
But the constant in Garcia Ramirez's statements was that Ramon and Jose Garcia-Morales were in the family's home when her parents were gunned down.
Pasco Detective Steve Thatsana said investigators worked overnight to identify suspects after the shooting. He twice showed photo montages to Erika and Maricela Garcia Ramirez, but came up short.
It wasn't until the next morning that Thatsana was able to identify Ramon Garcia-Morales as one of the shooters when the girls separately picked him out of a group of photographs of six men. And a short time later, the girls pointed to Jose Garcia-Morales' picture in a separate lineup as the second man they claim was in the house, Thatsana said.
Jose Garcia-Morales is charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, first-degree rendering criminal assistance and two counts of second-degree assault. All of the charges include gun allegations and the claim that Garcia-Morales either was the principal or an accomplice in committing the crimes.
Prosecutors allege Garcia-Morales went with his older brother to confront Ramon about money the brothers believed they were owed.
However, defense attorney Shelley Ajax told jurors that her client was financially stable and only went with his brother because he was worried about Ramon's frame of mind. Garcia-Morales thought his brother just wanted to talk to Garcia, and took away what he thought was Ramon's only gun before they went inside, she said.
The trial continues today at the Franklin County Courthouse.
-- Kristin M. Kraemer: 582-1531; email@example.com