Trial begins in man accused of killing disabled veteran

Posted at 7:29 PM, Jul 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-09 20:29:08-04

Opening statements were made Monday afternoon in the trial of a man who is accused of shooting and killing a disabled veteran.

Aldo Naranjo is accused of gunning down 38-year-old Joel Cunha in the 4400 block of Mistletoe Drive back on January 15, 2018.

Following opening statements, surveillance video was played before the jury of the night of the first confrontation between Naranjo and Cunha. It took place at a local convenience store near Weber and Gollihar.

Man accused of killing disabled veteran says he’s innocent

Naranjo’s attorney said in court his client did talk to Cunha’s daughter the night of the shooting and Naranjo passed her a note. The note had Naranjo’s cell phone number. When Joel Cunha read the note, Naranjo’s attorneys said Cunha got angry and confronted Naranjo about the incident.

A couple of minutes later, Naranjo’s defense attorney says his client noticed Cunha’s pickup truck was behind him in the 4400 block of Mistletoe Drive. According to Naranjo’s attorney, Naranjo pulled over to the side of the road in which Cunha’s vehicle came to a stop ahead of Naranjo’s vehicle and Cunha approached Naranjo with something in his hand and struck Naranjo.

Naranjo’s attorney says his client opened fired.

A witness, who testified in court, said, "all I saw was an arm and I saw the weapon and I saw a muzzle flash." "I went over there to the opposite of the truck to assist. I put pressure, I put pressure on the wound," the witness continued. Cunha died later from his injuries.

Naranjo’s trial is expected to continue Tuesday afternoon.