Two teenagers who saw their father murdered and their mother shot won't be called back to testify a second time.
Defense attorney Moe Spencer argued Friday in Franklin County Superior Court that sisters Erika and Maricela Garcia Ramirez needed to return to court so he could question them about inaccuracies in their statements about whether Jose Garcia-Morales shot their parents.
Erika Garcia Ramirez, 18, spent 11/2 hours on the witness stand Tuesday describing the night she saw her parents get shot. Maricela Garcia Ramirez, 17, testified Wednesday.
Garcia-Morales, 28, is accused of going with his brother Ramon to a Manzanita Lane home the evening of Dec. 10, 2008, to confront Alfredo Garcia about money the brothers believed they were owed.
The men all worked together in the fields topping onions, and Garcia would assemble a list for the field supervisor of people who notified him they were in need of work. The list was used on a first-come, first-serve basis for planting season, but the brothers believed Garcia intentionally passed them over, prosecutors have said.
The conversation grew heated and Garcia, 42, died from six gunshot wounds. His wife, Maria Ramirez de Garcia, was shot four times and survived.
Garcia-Morales is charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, first-degree rendering criminal assistance and two counts of second-degree assault.
His brother Ramon Garcia-Morales was convicted by a jury last year. He is serving a 67-year prison sentence.
Spencer said he wanted to establish that both girls have said in the past that Garcia-Morales did not shoot their parents. But during the trial, Erika Garcia Ramirez said both brothers shot her parents, he said.
Special Prosecutor Terry Bloor said Spencer already asked Erika Garcia Ramirez exactly what he was talking about asking her again.
She testified that she couldn't remember her interview with the detective the night her parents were shot, which should be understandable considering what she saw, he said.
Spencer said he did not have a full opportunity to question the girls.
But Judge Carrie Runge said she never stopped him from asking the girls about alleged prior inconsistent statements and denied Spencer's request.
Spencer said he objected to her decision.
Runge did approve the defense recalling Pasco police Detective Steve Thatsana on Monday, but said defense needed to ask him the questions they planned to ask him before the jury arrived so she could determine if it would be appropriate for him to be questioned in front of the jury again.
The trial continues Monday at 8:30 a.m.