San Diego

Closing arguments set in trial for SDPD officer’s killer

Jesse Michael Gomez was discovered responsible earlier this month of first-degree homicide for the July 28, 2016, capturing dying of Jonathan “J.D.” De Guzman.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Jurors started deliberating Tuesday afternoon whether or not a person convicted of capturing two San Diego cops, killing one among them, ought to face the dying penalty or life in jail with out the potential of parole.

Jesse Michael Gomez, 60, was discovered responsible earlier this month of first-degree homicide for the July 28, 2016, capturing dying of Jonathan “J.D.” De Guzman, 43. The jury additionally discovered true a particular circumstance allegation of killing a police officer, opening Gomez to a attainable dying sentence.

Attorneys made their closing arguments Tuesday in the penalty section of the trial, throughout which jurors will suggest whether or not Gomez ought to obtain dying or a lifetime of incarceration. The jury started deliberating round 1:40 p.m Tuesday.

In addition to homicide, the jury additionally convicted Gomez of the tried homicide of De Guzman’s accomplice, Wade Irwin, in addition to a rely of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

De Guzman, a 16-year veteran of the San Diego Police Department, died at a hospital, whereas Irwin was hospitalized for almost a month for a gunshot to the throat.

Prosecutors say the officers had been patrolling Acacia Grove Way simply earlier than 11 p.m. once they noticed Gomez and one other man cut up up and begin strolling alongside the north and south sidewalks of the road. Irwin testified that after they adopted Gomez at sluggish speeds in their patrol automotive, he obtained out of the automobile and requested Gomez one thing to the impact of “Do you live around here?”

Gomez, who testified on his personal behalf, mentioned he didn’t notice the boys who approached him had been legislation enforcement and as an alternative thought they had been gang members poised to kill him.

He testified that he solely acknowledged {that a} automotive with its fog lights on was following him, however mentioned he discovered the way in which it was touring “pretty suspicious.”

After the automotive stopped, Gomez testified that the headlights turned on, obscuring his imaginative and prescient, and a person obtained out and requested him, “Where are you from?” According to Gomez, that question is a typical gang problem, which in his expertise rising up in Shelltown means a violent encounter is quickly to observe.

He testified that, fearing for his life, he opened hearth on the “silhouette” of the person who posed the question, in addition to the automotive. When requested to explain what was operating by his thoughts on the time, he mentioned, “I thought gang members were going to shoot and kill me.”

Irwin testified that Gomez confronted him with an “angry, hateful look on his face,” then “immediately” raised his hand and shot him in the throat, earlier than strolling towards the police automotive and firing a number of occasions on De Guzman.

Prosecutors allege Gomez, who had prior run-ins with the legislation and was illegally carrying a firearm when he was contacted, shot the officers as a result of he was not going to threat going to jail once more.

After De Guzman was shot, Irwin drew his gun and fired on the shooter, who was operating eastbound, in line with the prosecution.

A blood path from the capturing scene led police to an unconscious Gomez, who was taken into custody in a ravine off South thirty eighth Street, a brief distance from the scene, and hospitalized with a gunshot wound to his higher physique.

WATCH: Man convicted of killing SDPD officer faces potential dying sentence throughout penalty section of trial (Sep 16, 2021)

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