Witnesses talk of tension before Barron killed
by Ken Paglia. (Mt. Democrat Staff Writer)
By the way, they used the same "scary" picture of Mario Lozano in today's article as they did in the article the other day. I wonder what he actually looks like sitting in the courtroom now. Did the defense attorney "clean him up" or not?
In opening statements, Deputy District Attorney Dale Gomes said that Mario Lozano admitted the killing to Placerville Police. He said Lozano described the first shotgun blast to her chest, then described the second shot to her head as the "kill shot". "He then took her car, her purse, wallet and two .22-caliber handguns. He used Barron's ATM card to put $50 worth of gas in the car."
Public Defender Michael Atwell chose to reserve his opening statement until the prosecution finishes its case.
The first prosecution witness today was Kacie Barron's son, Nick Selbman, who's now 22 years old. He told Deputy District Attorney Dale Gomes that he was the one who found Kacie's body in the travel trailer that was parked outside her home. He had gone to her home earlier in the day to drop off his dog before he went to work. Apparently this was something he did regularly. The dog stayed with Kacie while Nick was at work. Kacie had been staying with friends while she knew Mario was in town, and met Nick at the bottom of the hill instead of waiting for him at the house.
The reporter for the Mountain Democrat writes the description of Nick's testimony so much better than I can. I wish the editor had given me permission to copy the article here. (I am not giving them $35 to do it! LOL) My brother can probably give a much better background to the story and information about the "relationship" between Kacie and Mario.
Anyway, after work, Nick went to an auto parts store to get some things needed to fix his mother's truck. Then he tried calling her on her cell phone and then on the house phone. No answer at either one. Around 6pm, he drove up to his mother's house and noticed that her car was missing. And he heard his dog barking from inside the travel trailer and he said that he couldn't see any reason that the dog would be inside the trailer. He noticed that a window was open and the screen was removed. Nick then testified that the door to the trailer was locked, but noticed a chair "perched up near the window" and on that chair, he noticed a footprint. He climbed in the trailer through that open window and found his mother laying on the floor covered in blood. He testified that he called 911 but the line was "busy". He called his roommate, then called 911 again and the authorities responded to the scene. On cross, Public Defender Atwell got Nick to admit that Mario had been sending his Mom money from Hawaii, and that she had visited him there earlier in 2006.
The second prosecution witness was Mike Nuss, who was a friend of Kacie's. He had known Kacie since he was 16 years old and "kind of grew up" with Kacie. They had been good friends until her death. His testimony was mostly about a conversation he'd had with Kacie the day before she was killed. He said that he and Kacie had talked for about 2 1/2 hours on July 25th. He testified that Kacie told him that she hadn't gone home for a couple days because Mario was there and she wanted him to leave. "She said she hadn't gone home for a couple of days because Mario was there and she wanted him to leave," Nuss testified. "He showed up at her house unexpectedly. He had been bit by a centipede in Hawaii and almost died. Kacie told him before that it was over. When he showed up, she stayed away."
He also testified about listening to some voicemails that Mario had left on Kacie's phone. Mike Nuss said "It sounded like he was giving her a time limit. It was something like 'You've got 12 to 14 hours to take care of what you've got to take care of.' " Nuss said that he didn't know what to make of the messages, but he didn't seem to think that Kacie was in danger. He just knew that Kacie wanted Lozano gone. She didn't want to be in his presence.
Nuss also testified that the next day, at around noon, he heard his phone ringing from inside his truck but didn't get to it in time to answer. It was Kacie who had called. Nuss returned the call but couldn't get a hold of his friend, he said. Barron was killed at about 12:10 p.m., Gomes said.
According to the reporter in today's article, the trial is expected to last about 3 weeks, which is different from what we'd heard a couple weeks ago when it was stated that the trial would last about 2 weeks.
Who's Who ~ Updated
This is the list from my earlier post updated here. Make it easier to figure out who is who if this is included each day, I think.
- Victim: Kathleen "Kacie" Barron
- Defendant: Mario H. Lozano
- Place: Placerville, El Dorado County, Superior Court Dept No. 2
- Judge: Honorable Eddie T. Keller
- Prosecution: Deputy District Attorney Dale R. Gomes
- Defense: Deputy Public Defender Michael N. Atwell
- Nick Selbman (Kacie Barron's son, now 22 years old. He was also the person who found Kacie's body on July 26th, 2006.)
- Mike Nuss (Longtime friend of Kacie Barron.)
- Mike Thompson (Longtime friend of Kacie Barron.)
- Gary Chapman (Friend of Mario Lozano, then friend of Kacie Barron.)
- Officer Brody Jordan (Placerville Police Department. Patrol officer and crime scene investigator.)
When the Mountain Democrat updates their site each day, the articles "move", so I'll try to update the link to their story as they move it around their site. Hopefully my brother will post his impressions of today's testimony later tonight. I'll do some googling later as well, to see if any other papers are covering the trial. So far, the only results I can come up with in Google are some old ones from when law enforcement were searching for Mario and my own blog. The search terms I've been using are "Mario Lozano Placerville". If anyone else can come up with more links to stories, please let me know how you did it! lol