The trial for Humberto Lorenzo-Diaz on the charges of malice murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime closed on Thursday with the jury set to deliberate first thing Friday morning.
The state of Georgia brought four new witnesses to the stand, along with recalling Rockdale County Sheriff's Office Investigator Glen Cannon, and both sides conducted their closing arguments. The jury then chose to continue deliberations the next day.
Thursday's testimonies began with Rockdale Sheriff's Office investigator Cannon marking for the jury a map of the area depicting the locations of addresses in Atlanta.
Following Cannon, another inmate was brought to the stand - defendant Lorenzo-Diaz's former cellmate Louis Montambo.
Montambo told Assistant District Attorney Miguel Dominguez that he had interviews with a Rockdale County Sheriff's Office investigator Bienvenida Black about conversations he and Lorenzo-Diaz shared while incarcerated.
Black described those interviews on the stand.
"(Montambo) said Humberto talked about the case and told him he was involved in a murder in Conyers," Black told Assistant District Attorney Paul Stalcup. "Louis also indicated it was a gentleman 18 years old."
Black went on to describe more of what Montambo described to her. "The night of the murder a young boy was dragged by his shirt to the ground, and was on his knees begging for his life. He was shot 26 times."
A member of the Rockdale County Sheriff's department who translated some of Lorenzo-Diaz's letters took the stand next, followed by another former cellmate of the defendant, Nicholas Pierce.
Pierce told how Lorenzo-Diaz used to ask him about such things as whether snow would take fingerprints off of bullet shell cases, and said he had shot a guy 14 times from his HK 9 mm and 10 from a .22 caliber gun.
"He said he fronted meth to Lalo, and Lalo never paid him," Pierce told the state. "he tried to get at Lalo, so he took Raul. Once he snatched Raul he called Lalo on the phone, and I guess Lalo laughed at him."
According to Pierce Lorenzo-Diaz than said, "So he got 24 shots, ‘That's what happens when I don't get my money.'"
Defense attorney Ash Joshi then questioned Pierce on if he was promised an early release or bond for his testimony.
"You were very clear speaking to them that you wanted to get out of jail," Joshi told Pierce about the video of his interview with authorities.
Following Pierce's testimony the state rested and Joshi presented his closing arguments. He said the state's case was built on the foundation of a lie, describing the early testimony of those who first came to the authorities concerning Lorenzo-Diaz's involvement in the murder as a very detailed lie.
"I wish my 10-year old daughter could write like (Nicky Sanchez) told Gwinnett Police," said Joshi of the "fiction" like details the witness told police.
The defense then told the jury how other witnesses were convicted felons and wanted to get out of their sentences early, calling testimony a "get out of jail free card."
"The very fact that the witnesses are convicted felons is reasonable doubt in itself," Joshi said.
Stalcup argued that point by saying that, "These four witnesses are convicted felons, there are a lot of convicted felons who have done good things. Mr. (Alex) Rodriguez, and Pierce have done a good thing.
"The words that have come out of the defendant's mouth and were heard by the witnesses could only be known by the murderer."
Stalcup then showed photos of the murdered and bloodied Raul.
"This was more than a murder; it was an assassination and an execution."