Attorneys give closing arguments in 2021 Pueblo murder trial

  • In US
  • 2022-12-03 13:00:58Z
  • By The Pueblo Chieftain

Attorneys delivered closing arguments were made Friday in the murder trial of Andrew Baros, which began Nov. 21, in connection to the 2021 shooting death of 36-year-old Carlos Lerma.

Baros, 37, is charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder in the fatal shooting, which took place Sept. 29, 2021.

Prosecutors with the 10th Judicial District Attorney's Office allege Baros shot and killed Lerma in what a police later claimed in an arrest affidavit was an act of jealousy after Baros believed Lerma was having an affair with his wife. Lerma's son, Diego, was also shot but later recovered from his wounds; a third party, Jose Perez, was grazed by a bullet.

Police allege Baros shot Lerma several times including in the abdomen, torso and upper thigh, then shot Diego in the chest and hand when he tried to help his wounded father, Deputy District Attorney Erik Walser said in court Friday.

Baros then allegedly shot Lerma, who was lying facedown on the ground, two more times in the back.

According to witness testimony, Baros also fired shots at a neighbor, who told the court she saw Baros shoot Lerma. The neighbor stated she had been out running errands when she saw the incident, locked eyes with Lerma, and then was fired at by Baros while attempting to flee into her home.

Forensic evidence gathered by police later confirmed bullets in the neighbor's home.

More on this case:Pueblo homicide suspect on trial for 2021 fatal shooting

In closing arguments, Karl Tameler, an attorney representing Baros, argued that Baros acted in self-defense. He cited the testimony of Andrew Mendoza, a friend of Baros's who was present at the scene when the shooting occurred. Mendoza testified that Lerma, along with his son and Perez, had "rolled up heavy," speeding up to the house with screeching tires and parking the wrong way on the street.

Mendoza testified that he saw Lerma hurrying along the sidewalk "angrily" shouting "Where's Drew?" and claimed that he saw Lerma reach for his back hip before being shot by Baros.

Tameler characterized the incident as an orchestrated threat to Baros's life by multiple parties and stated his client only acted to defend himself and his family.

Tameler emphasized a bullet wound taken by Lerma during the incident was different than others, which he said had "left-hand rifling," as opposed to others with "right-hand rifling," citing testimony by Dr. Daniel Lingamfelter, a forensic pathologist who conducts autopsies for the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office.

This gunshot wound, Tameler argued, may have come from a different shooter in what he suggested may have been a "friendly fire" incident intended for another target.

"Guess who that may have been?" Tameler posed to the jury.

"When you corner a lion, you're going to get the tooth," Tameler said. "A man has a right to stand his ground and not retreat when there is a threat to himself and his family."

Walser, however, ridiculed the idea there was an orchestrated attack on Baros.

"No other witness testified to seeing anybody but Baros holding a gun," Walser said. He also highlighted that 19 shell casings, all of which appeared to be from the same .40 caliber gun, were found in the yard of the residence and that no bullet holes or defects were found in Baros's residence.

"They would have to be the worst assassins and the best clean-up team in the world," Walser argued to the jury. "Is it reasonable that multiple people came in hot, with the goal of killing Mr. Baros, and the unsuspecting victim had time to get off 19 shots while none of the assassins were able to even pull their guns out? That's for you (the jury) to decide."

Jury deliberations began Friday evening and are scheduled to resume Monday.

Pueblo public safety:Friday morning fatal shooting marks Pueblo's 26th homicide of 2022

All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in court. Arrests and charges are merely accusations by law enforcement until, and unless, a suspect is convicted of a crime.

Questions, comments, or story tips? Contact Justin at Follow him on Twitter @jayreutter1.

This article originally appeared on The Pueblo Chieftain: Attorneys give closing arguments in 2021 Pueblo murder trial


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