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El Paso jury finds Moises Galvan guilty of murder

Update: The jury has found Galvan guilty of murder and of aggravated assault. The court ordered the jury to return tomorrow. ABC-7 is working to learn when the sentencing will happen.

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- The defense team for a man accused in a 2017 deadly shooting rested its case, then was allowed to reopen to interview a long-sought after witness who agreed to testify in court.

The defense attorney for Moises Galvan, who is accused of murdering RJ Franco outside an east El Paso bar, had asked the visiting judge Dick Alcala to allow him to enter the witness' statement to police after the Jan. 29, 2017 shooting as testimony. Greg Anderson told Alcala the prior judge allowed that during the previous trial.

Moises Galvan (left) and Rogelio "RJ" Franco (right) (photo courtesy Roger Franco)

This is Galvan's second trial. The first, which took place over nearly a month in the summer of 2019, ended in a mistrial and the judge was removed from hearing the retrial.

Listen to the Borderland Crimes podcast episode about the case and what led to the mistrial

Prosecutor John Briggs objected, saying the witness isn't in court not because he was unavailable, but because he simply didn't show up to court. Briggs added the prosecution wouldn't be able to cross-examine the witness' statement.

Anderson said if the statement isn't allowed to be used as testimony, he would request a continuance of the trial, meaning he was asking to postpone. He added that the witness had gone to the district attorney's office last week, he had spoken to prosecutors, and the prosecutors knew what he was going to say, adding that this was "prejudice shown to my client."

Briggs confirmed the meeting, but said they did not think the witness' testimony would benefit the trial. He said they issued a subpoena for the witness once they knew the defense wanted him to take the stand.

"He has chosen to blow off his subpoena," Briggs said.

Judge Alcala denied both defense requests.

Once the jury was seated, both the defense and prosecution rested their cases and the court broke for lunch.

Upon resuming the trial, the defense asked the judge if he could reopen the case. The witness who had been sought was called on the phone, agreed to testify, and was at the courthouse.

The witness told the jury he couldn't remember much of what he saw or heard the night of the shooting, and the defense rested once again.

Closing arguments are set to begin Friday morning.

Article Topic Follows: El Paso

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Stephanie Valle

Stephanie Valle co-anchors ABC-7 at 5, 6 and 10 weeknights.


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