Trial begins for Merced County man accused of brutal homicide

MERCED COUNTY, Calif.

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Prosecutors say Luis Valencia and three other men who are being tried separately -- killed Rosa Avina in October of 2007. Avina was found badly burned and barely alive in a Ballico field.

In court, the prosecution played an audiotape of Merced County detectives interviewing Avina in the ambulance before she was flown to a hospital where she died days later. On the tape, Avina groans in pain but still manages to answer a critical question.

"Can you tell me who you were with?"

"Alvaro"

"Alvaro?"

"Yes"

Alvaro is the name of another suspect in the case. Attorneys for both sides declined to comment, but a family friend of the victim told Action News Avina did not deserve to die the way she did.

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