YAKIMA -- A Granger man was acquitted this week of an attempted murder charge in a shooting that left a Sunnyside man critically wounded and permanently disabled.
Emmanuel Ramirez Godinez, 20, was identified by the victim's family members as one of two men who went to their home Dec. 4 in the 6500 block of Van Belle Road and opened fire on Jose Lupercio-Cisneros after a struggle at the doorway. The other man has not been found.
The jury of three men and nine women deliberated for about three hours Thursday before returning the verdict in Yakima County Superior Court.
Ramirez Godinez was arrested because the shooting victim and his wife named Ramirez Godinez as the suspect after seeing his picture in a wedding announcement.
But defense attorney Adolfo Banda called the case an "absurdity," noting that the victim's family members had done their own investigation before approaching the sheriff's office with information nearly two months after the shooting.
Banda said his client came from a "humble family" and did not have any connections to Luperio-Cisneros that would have prompted the attack. "They didn't know each other," he said.
According to the arrest report by the Yakima County Sheriff's Office, the victims were not able to identify Ramirez Godinez as the suspect based on other photos.
Ramirez Godinez denied involvement when he was arrested.
Deputy prosecutor Sam Chen said the state did not have other evidence, such as the guns that were used.
"We do the best we can to present the case and the jury decides," Chen said.
Jurors reported that they found the victim's wife credible, but they questioned inconsistencies among the witness statements, Chen said.
The victim, who was shot seven times in the torso and foot, would have died if treatment had been delayed by 30 minutes, a doctor told authorities. He had to have his spleen removed, along with part of his colon and intestines. He can walk now only with difficulty, Chen said.
Ramirez Godinez remains at the Yakima County jail under an immigration hold that could see him deported.