An El Paso County jury on Monday began deliberating the fate of one of three men tied to the April 2017 execution of a bungling meth dealer who was shot 14 times - allegedly for making one mistake too many.
Prosecutors said Jorge "Bird" Galvan-Flores ordered the killing of Lawrence Gloster II and served as one of three gunmen.
"Keep your eyes on the Bird," prosecutor Brien Cecil told the panel during closing arguments, describing the defendant as the head of a local meth ring who had tired of Gloster's frequent mistakes on the job, including a botched drug deal in which Gloster lost nearly a half-ounce of meth by inadvertently dropping it into a customer's lap.
Public defender Kelly McCullough called Galvan-Flores a "fall guy" falsely implicated by his teenage nephew, saying he lied to protect his own involvement.
She alleged that the boy and a friend, both 15 at the time, were enlisted to help carry out the shooting at the behest of Anthony Loya. She identified Loya as the third shooter - a fellow player in Galvan-Flores' drug network who was allegedly jealous of Gloster's position in their drug network.
Together, Loya and the teens killed Gloster without Galvan-Flores' knowledge or consent, McCullough said.
Gloster, 23, was abducted at gunpoint, pistol-whipped and executed in a hail of gunfire April 6, 2017, inside an abandoned adobe ranch building off U.S. 24 between Peyton and Calhan.
"He's crying. He's apologizing. He gets on his knees and they shoot him execution-style, 14 times," prosecutor Christina Husman told the panel Monday.
Authorities say there is no indication that the teens participated in the killing. They presented evidence that the trio of shooters consisted of Galvan-Flores, Loya, and Israel "Puerto Rico" Jimenez-Roldan. Loya and Jimenez-Roldan are both jailed on first-degree murder charges and awaiting trial.
The son of a Florida anesthesiologist, Gloster survived two bouts with Hodgkin lymphoma before becoming addicted to fentanyl, his mother told the jury in retracing his unlikely path to Colorado Springs' criminal underbelly.
He moved here hoping to get access to medical marijuana, she said, but fell in with Galvan-Flores and his cohorts. Authorities say that Gloster's poor record as a street pusher stemmed from getting addicted to meth himself.
Galvan-Flores, 35, is charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder under different theories of involvement. Authorities say his DNA was on one of the murder weapons, and that cell phone "pings" corroborated his nephew's claim that he was directly involved.
McCullough dismissed the alleged motive as fanciful, saying that Gloster lost no more than $150 of methamphetamine. She also pointed out that a phone linked to her client made a call from central Colorado Springs around the time of the killing.
Prosecutors said Galvan-Flores had multiple phones and likely lent one of them to a friend.
The 10-woman, two-man panel started deliberating about noon.
Stay with gazette.com for updates as they are announced.