Trial moves ahead for man accused of killing wife, shooting man she was allegedly seeing

Kate Nemarich Image
Friday, July 28, 2023
Trial moves ahead for man accused of shooting his wife, man she was allegedly seeing
Accusations of infidelity and jealousy peppered a preliminary hearing for the Clovis man accused of killing his estranged wife.

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Accusations of infidelity and jealousy peppered a preliminary hearing for the Clovis man accused of killing his estranged wife.

Authorities said 38-year-old Antonio Saldana Jr. also shot the man his estranged wife, Lisa Saldana, was allegedly seeing, but he survived.

Thursday, family members and law enforcement took the stand for the second day of testimony, giving their accounts of what happened the night of September 20, 2021.

The homicide happened in the backyard of the Clovis home where Saldana's five children were at the time.

The defendant's sister, Rebecca Garcia, was with her brother that night.

She took the stand for a second day and described the couple's relationship as complicated.

No one argued whether or not Saldana pulled the trigger, but they did debate the events leading up to the shootings.

Garcia claimed they first stopped by the liquor store before Saldana drove them to his estranged wife's home.

"And then after I decided to follow him that's when I heard the first gunshot and tried to run towards him, I don't know, and stop him, but obviously it was too late," said Garcia.

Garcia's testimony lasted more than an hour before two detectives on the case and an investigating officer was called to the stand.

"Before we entered we made announcements and one of the juveniles came out to us and was escorted away from the front door," said Officer Richard Cressall, Clovis Police. "She appeared to be frightened and scared and was looking to us for direction."

The prosecution used their testimony to argue Saldana knowingly put his children in danger by shooting outside a home the children were in.

Ultimately, the judge agreed - accepting five charges of child abuse as well as first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.

"Given the time it takes to travel from the Oslin address to the San Gabriel Address, clearly there's sufficient time for the defendant to have thought about what he was going to do," said Hon. Alvin Harrell, Fresno County Superior Court.

The defense claimed as recently as May 2023, Saldana's sister was in an ongoing relationship with the man he allegedly shot.

If convicted on all charges Saldana will serve 82 years to life in prison.

He will return to court for arraignment on September 1.

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