YUMA, Ariz. – It is day 8 of the murder trial for Andres Flores Galindo. He is facing one count of first-degree murder in the killing of Wellton resident Christal Figueroa.
Defense council is arguing that Jose Jimenez killed Figueroa, not Galindo. Jimenez took a plea agreement in 2015 where he was sentenced to 25 years in prison. The defense also told the jury that the state bought their witnesses, meaning that some were offered immunity in order to testify.
Testifying this week was Ramon Ramirez, who is also in custody, he accepted a plea deal from the state in April. Ramirez and Jimenez are allegedly affiliated with the same gang and are both connected to Figueroa’s murder.
During testimony this week, Ramirez states that Galindo didn’t really know Figueroa personally. Galindo just happened to be there when Jimenez walked in and found Figueroa in the same hotel room with Ramirez. Ramirez makes clear that him and Figueroa did not have sexual intercourse, but was afraid of the repercussions of Jimenez finding him alone with Figueroa.
Several detectives working the case on different levels of expertise testified this week as well, including the gang-unit, criminal and forensic fields. In their testimonies they refer to walk-through interviews with suspects and even pictures from the crime scene.
The sequence of events leading to Figueroa’s murder are currently based on Ramirez’s testimony stating he was just along for the ride when they took Figueroa to the citrus groves where she was found dead. Ramirez says he remained in the car during her murder and that Jimenez attempted to shoot Figueroa twice. After missing both times, Jimenez then told Galindo, who was standing nearby, to shoot her.
The trial will continue on Monday.
May, 12 2016-
The first witness on the stand Thursday was Sergeant Ron Rodriguez (ret.) with the Yuma Police Department. Rodriguez testified about interviewing Figueroa’s family members following her death. He said that they had mentioned Jimenez.
The state then presented images of Figueroa’s body as evidence, drawing reaction from family members present in court.
The second witness who took the stand was Dr. Reena Singh, a forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy on Figueroa. She was able to confirm what was shown in the images presented by the state.
Galindo is facing first degree premeditated murder among five other felony charges.
Figueroa’s body was found March 22, 2013, in a citrus grove near County 17th Street and Avenue 2E in Yuma. She was shot 16 times according to officials.
Figueroa was a mother of three children.
The trial is expected to last three weeks and currently set for May 11, 12, 17-20, 24-26, 31 and June 1st.