Attorneys in Funez trial present closing arguments

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Tulare County jury will soon start deliberating in the case of Chaylin Funez, a Visalia teen accused of murder.

Funez is charged with murder and the special allegation of using a deadly weapon (her car) for killing Visalia husband and father Eric Fisher.

During closing statements, Tulare County prosecutors said the case was about revenge.

They said Chaylin Funez was seeking revenge for her boyfriend after he was disrespected by Eric Fisher.

Fisher tried to break up a fight between Funez's boyfriend and another man walking his dog.

Prosecutors described Funez's boyfriend as a bully and Fisher, a father of two, as a Good Samaritan.

They said Funez was mad, got into her car, and with her boyfriend in the passenger seat, made a U-turn, driving north on Conyer Street.

"The defendant then slowly began to turn to the left, West on Prospect, and then abruptly pulled her wheel to the right so that her car went straight into the victim with acceleration," said Tulare County Deputy District Attorney Noell Niayesh.

Prosecutors said she then backed up over Fisher, trapping him underneath her car.

By that time, Fisher's family, including his wife, were outside, pleading with Funez to stop.

"The defendant made direct eye contact with Alice Fisher and the defendant had a smirk on her face, almost as if she looked proud of what she was doing," Noell Niayesh said.

Fisher was then dragged down the street and died later that night.

But thanks to an anonymous tip to Visalia Police, Funez was arrested two days after the crash.

During closing statements on Wednesday, prosecutors showed a video of Funez and her boyfriend (who was never charged with a crime), talking at the Visalia Police station later that day.

Prosecutors believe Funez only showed emotion during the video because she had been caught.

But Funez's attorney Nicholas Schuller said it's not fair for the district attorney's office to paint his client as a monster.

"Chaylin was proud of what she had done? That's absurd," Schuller said. Where's the evidence of that?"

Schuller said the jurors should convict Funez of a crime proved beyond a reasonable doubt, not murder.

"This is a case of hit-and-run driving, from an accident where Mr. Fisher tragically died, this is not a murder case," he said.

"Every action that she took is consistent with revenge and lack of regard for Eric Fisher's life," said Tulare County Deputy District Attorney Mitch Niayesh.

If convicted of murder, Funez faces 25 years to life in prison.
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