In Biola farmer's murder, one criminal testifies against the other

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- One of the two survivors who were there when a Biola farmer got murdered is testifying about the shooting that killed George Salwasser in 2014.

Adrian Aceves and Jose Cañas came together at a Biola farm to chop up a stolen truck and earn themselves a couple hundred bucks.

Their paths have drastically differed since then.

George Salwasser noticed the criminal operation on his property and drove up in his own truck, armed with a gun and a phone calling 911.

"At that time, I got scared," said Aceves through an interpreter.

Aceves says he took off right away, leaving Cañas behind and he heard gunshots as he left.

"When you were running and you heard what you thought were shots, where were you" asked defense attorney Ralph Torres.

"Running toward the road," said Aceves.

A year after Salwasser's death, Aceves agreed to a plea deal admitting voluntary manslaughter and promising to testify against Cañas. He's already serving his 11-year sentence.

At the first murder trial against Cañas, prosecutors called him to testify. But this time around, they didn't. Torres did, and he's trying to convince the jury Aceves was the actual shooter.

He says testing on gloves Aceves admitted to wearing -- testing done after the first trial -- showed gunshot residue.

"Do you remember questions about wearing the black gloves and shooting a gun?" Torres asked.

"I never had the black gloves on when firing any gun," Aceves said.

After his arrest, Cañas initially denied any involvement, but eventually confessed to the shooting, specifically telling homicide investigators he shot twice, and that he was offended at the way Salwasser came at them.

His attorney now claims the confession was a defense mechanism, meant to protect his family from Adrian Aceves.

The murder trial started in October, but it could end by next week.
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