Man Killed 18-year-old Witness to Stop Her from Testifying in Court; Perpetrator and Accomplice Convicted in Court

A man from Indio has been found guilty of first-degree murder and other charges after he fatally shot an 18-year-old witness to a crime. Meanwhile, the jury has started deliberating the outcome for his co-defendant.

A jury in Indio took two days to reach a verdict, finding 28-year-old Alexis Daniel Rosas guilty of the 2019 murder of Makayla Jean Massey, also known as Anita Garcia, from Victorville.

Rosas was convicted of multiple charges, including murder, attempted murder, and special circumstance allegations. The panel also found him guilty of sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations.

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Jennifer Gerard refrained from setting a sentencing date, opting to wait for the separate jury to reach a decision regarding co-defendant Maury Duarte.

The jury deliberated in private on Monday morning and did not come to a decision. Deliberations are set to continue on Tuesday at the Larson Justice Center.

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As Rosas faces a potential death penalty, the jury in his case will determine whether he should receive capital punishment or life in prison without parole, according to Thalia Hayden of the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.

According to court documents, Rosas and Duarte were involved in a conspiracy related to retail fraud. Interestingly, there is no record of any previous felony convictions for either individual in Riverside County.

Maury Duarte has been found guilty of committing first-degree murder. Jurors have also determined that there are special circumstance allegations of killing a witness to a crime and lying in wait as per KESQ News.

Prosecutors have decided against pursuing the death penalty for Duarte. However, the special circumstance allegations could result in a potential sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The sentencing date has been scheduled for July 8th.

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