Dairy Barn Murder Suspects Will Go To Trial

December 5, 2008 8:16:24 PM PST
These are the young men Madera County authorities say shot two dairy workers execution style inside a Chowchilla barn in January. One of the victims, Alberto Torres, died from his injuries. His mother broke down in tears outside the courtroom.Alicia Torres/Victim's mother: "My son was working. Why did they do this to him?"

The 18 year old was murdered just 20 minutes into his first day on the job. Surveillance video captured a gunman firing what experts say was the fatal shot. Detectives testified that the two suspects, Jose Ventura and Jesus Flores, turned on each other during the investigation. They say Flores claimed Ventura wanted to rob the men because he used to work at the dairy and was owed money. But Ventura reportedly told officers he never wanted to kill anyone. He claimed Flores shot both men--including the survivor who turned out to be Ventura's own cousin.

Regina Bradshaw/Madera Co. Deputy District Attorney: "The facts will come out, and we hope in the end what's right will happen."

During cross examination, defense attorneys implied it's impossible to clearly identify the men in the surveillance video and questioned whether detectives violated Flores' Miranda rights during one interrogation. But the judge ruled there is enough evidence to send both men to trial. Now prosecutors must decide whether to pursue the death penalty.

Michael Keitz/Madera Co. Sr. Deputy District Attorney: "It is potentially a capital case, however no decision on that has been made at this time."

Torres' family members say they'll put their trust in the system.

Angel Torres/Victim's cousin: "We just want justice."

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