Jury hears closing arguments in the murder trial of James Dean

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Closing arguments were heard Wednesday in the trial of a convicted felon accused of fatally shooting another man in the stomach last July.

James Dean admitted to firing the gun that killed Augustine Velasco but claims it was in self-defense.

James Dean is facing at least 40 years to life in prison if he's convicted.

Wednesday he sat and listened in a Fresno courtroom as the prosecution called him a liar and a murderer.

Prosecutors say the 26-year-old Fresno man killed 43-year old Augustine Jay Velasco on the evening of July 8th last year.

Dean claims the shooting was in self-defense but the prosecution says that's simply not true.

"Usually we say people are misrepresenting the truth but he's flat-out lying he just lies," said prosecutor Robert Romanacce.

Dean is the boyfriend of Velasco's ex-wife -- and according to police -- the two got into an argument before Dean pulled out a handgun and shot him once in the stomach.

"He shot him from this distance...red square to the left to red square to the right. He shot him from this distance over ten feet," said Romanacce.

The defense argues the altercation turned deadly only after Velasco threatened to attack Dean.

Dean's lawyer pleaded with the jury to convict his client on a charge other than capital murder.

"If he wanted to kill him he could've killed him at any time if he had that intent. The only time the gun came out is after the argument he rushed at him..that's self-defense," said Defense Attorney Kojo Moore.

During the trial -- three witnesses put Dean at the scene -- as the sole suspect.

"Everybody is yelling don't shoot him don't shoot my baby's daddy don't shoot him and what does he do...he decided to shoot him. He knows it's going to kill him. It blew up Mr. Velasco's insides," said Romanacce.

It is now up to the jury to decide Dean's fate.

His prior conviction was a felony burglary charge.
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