A 24-year-old man fatally beat a male friend who made sexual advances toward him and should be convicted of murder, a prosecutor told jurors in Santa Ana Monday.
But the public defender for Edgar Salvador Lucio claims the Victorville man merely defended himself from a "sexually aggressive" 47-year-old in a Buena Park garage apartment.
Lucio, who was initially identified by authorities as Edgar Lucio Zamudio and then Edgar Salvador Luciozamudio ... well, whatever the hell his name is, he's charged with murder and faces up to 25 years to life in state prison if convicted.
The late Ricardo Rios lived in the garage apartment behind a home on Marshall Avenue. Lucio had agreed to drive 80 miles in August 2011 to spend the night with Rios, who Deputy District Attorney Steve McGreevy described to jurors as "a father figure" to Lucio.
But Monday's courtroom report from Paul Anderson of City News Service has McGreevy telling jurors that at around 3:30 in the morning, Lucio dialed 9-1-1 to report he had been attacked, that his car had been damaged and that he acted in self-defense, adding he did not need medical attention. Lucio is also accused of phoning a friend and cousin in Rialto to say he'd been the victim of a possible gang attack.
Police arrived at the garage to find Rios "on the ground, unresponsive in a pool of blood," noted McGreevy, adding a 3.8-pound weight and an 8.2-pound cinder block were nearby. Rios had suffered a broken right orbital bone, nose, jaw and cheek bone, brain swelling and multiple rib fractures.
Questioned by detectives later that morning, Lucio denied being in a romantic relationship with Rios. When detectives informed Lucio they found an image of him in a bathtub on Rios' cell phone, Lucio confided he "may have led (Rios) on," according to McGreevy.
Jennifer Ryan of the Orange County Public Defender's Office told jurors Rios was drunk when Lucio arrived and later "stroked" Lucio's leg and offered to perform oral sex for money. When Lucio resisted, Ryan claimed, Rios became "aggressive" and "pulled down his pants and came up from behind Edgar."
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Rios "chucked" the weight at Lucio that cracked Lucio's windshield and hit Lucio with a cinder block, according to Ryan, who conceded her client got Rios in a headlock and punched him in the face three times.
"You will decide if Mr. Rios' aggressive sexual behavior first and using a deadly weapon, second, allowed Mr. Lucio to act in self defense," Ryan told the jury.
Trial continues today.