Prosecutors fight back after change of heart from the man accused of killing a Biola farmer

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Jose Cañas set out to strip a stolen pickup truck of its rims, a $200 job for himself and his companion Adrian Aceves.

They were doing it on George Salwasser's farmland, though, and Salwasser caught them-- and he had a gun. As Salwasser called 911, prosecutors said Cañas had three options.

"He weighed the option of running. He weighed the option of staying and getting caught by the cops. And he weighed the option of shooting and killing the victim," said William Lacy, prosecutor.

After his arrest, Cañas initially denied any involvement, but eventually confessed to the shooting, giving some very specific details about how it happened.

"He told police that he shot him twice. He told police what he was thinking when he shot him he was offended about the way 'He came at us,'" said Lacy.

But at trial, Cañas testified that his confession was a fabrication, given out of fear for his family's safety. He and his defense attorney now say Aceves was the real shooter.

"The thing is is that all the relevant physical forensic evidence points to the fact that he's right. Jose Canas never shot that guy," said Ralph Torres, defense attorney.

Attorneys finished closing arguments in this case, so it is now in the hands of the jury who will start deliberating Wednesday morning.

Aceves is already facing up to 11 years for manslaughter.

Two others are getting less time for being involved in stealing the truck.

Cañas would face life in prison if he is convicted.
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