A jury will begin deliberations early next week on whether a Fort Carson soldier was the drive-by gunman who fired into a house, wounding a pregnant 19-year-old woman.
In closing arguments Friday, prosecutors said Jose Miguel Barco signaled his intent when he spurned a fistfight with the people who had just tossed him out of a party in the 3000 block of Meander Circle on April 25, 2008.
“I’m not a fighter. I’m not a gangster,” they quoted him as saying. “I’m a killer.”
Moments later a gunman peppered the house with five to six shots. One bullet went through the left leg of Ginny Stefanic.
“As far as he cares, she could have died,” District Attorney Dan May told jurors while showing them a picture of Stefanic in her hospital bed.
But Barco’s attorneys countered that police arrested the wrong man.
“What happened is tragic,” Deputy Public Defender Cynthia Jones told the jurors. “But it’s not Jose Barco’s fault.
“He didn’t have a gun. He didn’t shoot anybody. He didn’t try to shoot anybody.”
Jones held up the .357 Magnum revolver that police seized when they arrested Barco several months after the shooting. She reminded the jury that experts were unable to link the gun to bullet fragments recovered from the house.
Jones suggested the shooter could have been a friend who came to the party with Barco. Witnesses described the shooter as being the shorter of the two men and the friend is an inch shorter than Barco, she said.
But May, trying his first case since becoming district attorney in January, reminded jurors of the three witnesses who picked Barco out of a photo lineup. One testified he was about five feet away when he saw Barco open fire from the passenger side of the car.
Barco is accused of three counts of attempted first-degree murder and one count of menancing.
The trial started Tuesday. After hearing closing arguments, Judge Larry Schwartz sent the jurors home with instructions to begin deliberating early next week.
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