Prosecution and defense rest in homicide trial

By Kevin Wilson: Freedom New Mexico

Lawyers will deliver closing arguments this morning in the
first-degree murder trial of Edward Salas, accused in the 2005 shooting
death of a 10-year-old Clovis boy.

The prosecution rested its case Thursday afternoon, and the defense
followed suit after nearly three hours of testimony in a Curry County
courtroom from Salas, 23, and investigators.

If convicted, Salas faces a minimum of 30 years in prison, and would be the third brother convicted in the shooting.

Morning witnesses included Salas’ mother, Lisa Salas, and crime scene investigators.

With both Salas members, District Attorney Matt Chandler attempted to
show statements they made Thursday conflicted with statements made
during the investigation and previous trials.

Edward Salas admitted he made statements that were not true to
investigators because he was afraid. Chandler felt the gravity of the
situation required honesty.

“Anytime someone was going to talk to you,” Chandler told him during
cross-examination, “it was very important (to be honest) … because
this was the death of a 10-year-old boy.”

Perez was shot in the early morning hours of Sept. 15, 2005, and died
later that day in a Lubbock hospital. Authorities contend the intended
target of the attack was Carlos’ older brother, Ruben Perez.

Edward Salas said he didn’t know why two girls, Ashley Garcia and
Cassandra Flores, testified he was involved in the shooting, but felt
he created a conflict by telling Noe Torres — who is also charged in
the case but remains at-large — it was trouble to be hanging out with
“little girls.”

Chandler said he would be surprised any conflict would be enough for
two girls to frame him for murder given that Salas traveled through
Clovis with them while he delivered marijuana and guns to acquaintances
at two separate residences.

Earlier in the day, Lisa Salas testified she did not know the family’s
Suburban was missing until 8:07 a.m. on Sept. 15, when her husband,
Isidoro “Lolo” Salas, reported it stolen.

Edward Salas had previously told investigators he received phone calls
from his mother six hours earlier regarding the vehicle theft, Chandler
said.

On Thursday, Lisa Salas said she didn’t see Edward Salas between coming
home from work at 12:30 a.m. and going to bed at 1:30 a.m.
Chandler showed transcripts of testimony from a previous trial that she
had seen all three sons —