The state of Georgia continued its trial against Humberto Lorenzo-Diaz in the alleged murder of Raul Ramirez, by examining eight witnesses in Judge Sidney Nation's courtroom on Wednesday.
fRockdale County Sheriff's Office Investigator Glen Cannon described to Assistant District Attorney Paul Stalcup that several weapons were found in a Mitsubishi Montero believed to belong to Diaz. Among them was a HK 9 mm pistol, which was later proved to be more than likely, used in the shooting of Ramierz in March of 2009.
Cannon told of his investigation that included calls to other departments such as the Chamblee Police Department, the Atlanta Police Department and Jefferson County Sheriff's Department, involved a "track and trace" placed on a phone believed to be Lorenzo-Diaz's and interviews with acquaintances of Lorenzo-Diaz, who were already in jail.
Locked up in the Jefferson County jail was Alex Rodriguez, who knew Diaz through what he said was his profession of "drug trafficking."
Rodriguez worked for someone named Lalo who was involved in trafficking and knew Lorenzo-Diaz since 2008.
Lorenzo-Diaz, known to Rodriguez as Carlos, was introduced to Rodriguez by Lorenzo-Diaz' cousin, Cruz.
Lorenzo-Diaz and Cruz were staying with Rodriguez and drinking one night, when Rodriguez got a call from the people who give him his drugs, who he said were threatening him.
After the phone call, Cruz told Rodriguez that he would not put up with that. Rodriguez then asked Lorenzo-Diaz if it was true how brave his cousin was and Lorenzo-Diaz said no, and used a shooting as an example.
"He turned to his cousin's direction and he told me no...because when we killed a guy he did not show the guts that he had," Rodriguez said through an interpreter.
"(Lorenzo-Diaz) shot and told his cousin to shoot him, but (Cruz) didn't have the guts so he came and grabbed his hands. (Lorenzo-Diaz) shot him more than 20 times."
Defense attorney Ash Joshi then cross-examined Rodriguez, repeatedly asking if he received any time off his sentence for giving assistance in this case.
Joshi asked Rodriguez why he didn't speak to him earlier, and Rodriguez answered, "I was not interested," Joshi replied that Rodriguez didn't speak to him, "because I'm not doing anything to help you in this case."
Joshi followed that up by asking, "Are you denying that the federal government requested for sentence for providing assistance to the Rockdale County Sheriff's office?"
Rodriguez replied, "Yes."
The defense also brought up that Rodriguez told two stories to investigators saying he that Ramirez was kidnapped in the place of Lalo, at his apartment, and then that Ramirez was taken while Lalo and a man named Dennis Pinera were bringing money to a drug deal when Ramirez was taken.
After about two hours of Rodriguez on the stand, the state them moved on to witnesses testifying that the gun they found on Lorenzo-Diaz at the time of his arrest was a match for the bullets pulled from Ramirez.
Director of the Atlanta Police Department's Crime Lab, at the time, Christopher Robinson was called to the stand, and testified that the bullets did match the HK 9mm in question.
He identified that which way the grooves in the .22 bullets that were evidence, and how many screws were on it, and where the pin was located on the casing made it almost certain that it was used in the HK 9mm.
"I determined that all bullets and cartridges were fired from the same weapon," Robinson said. "It only could have been fired from a Rueger .22 pistol."
Another firearm expert witness confirmed Robinson's findings.
The state then called Pierre Dredque of the Chamblee Police Department.
Dredque was the arresting officer of Lorenzo-Diaz, when he was a called to a scene where he was shooting in an apartment with two females.
Dredque came up to the apartment as a female came out with blood on her face and said, "He's inside. He's got a gun."
Dredque and fellow Chamblee Patrolman and witness Bill Watts then went into the apartment and arrested Lorenzo-Diaz.
After describing his arrest, the state examined two Rockdale County jail employees, starting with Sgt. Dennis Pass.
Pass read Lorenzo-Diaz's mail in the RCSO's jail, as he did many other inmates checking for evidence of a crime and contraband.
After Pass was the Spanish-speaking Vincent Lopez, who worked as a detention deputy in 2009, and overheard conversations Lorenzo-Diaz had with visitors.
Among the things Lopez testified to hearing was that Lorenzo-Diaz said, "there's going to be trouble if he is talking who I think is talking."
According to Lopez, Lorenzo-Diaz also told two separate visitors to "Get my family out of their apartment so no one could question them," and that "What he did was wrong and he would have to pay for it."
The state will bring its final witnesses to the stand today when the trial resumes at 9 a.m.