Jurors will have to sort out where Eddie Laurel really was the morning a 13-year-old boy was shot dead.
As Laurel's trial opened this morning in Sedgwick County District Court, prosecutors told jurors that Laurel, then 16, took a gun to the front porch of where Miguel Angel Andrade Martinez lived last summer.
" 'I got him,' " assistant Sedgwick County District Attorney Trinity Muth said witnesses remembered Laurel saying after 13 bullets sprayed the front door of Andrade's house. Ten shots struck the teen, as he answered a knock on the door at around 6 a.m. on a Sunday last summer.
Laurel says he wasn't at the house in the 2400 block of North Jackson the morning of June 20, 2010. Laurel's lawyer, John Sullivan, reserved his opening statements. But court records show Sullivan plans to call witnesses to say that he was nearly 32 miles away at his uncle's house in Haven that morning.
Eddie Laurel, 17, is being tried as an adult, charged with first-degree murder. He's the fourth person to face charges and the third to stand trial.
Alejandro Betancourt, 27, is serving life in prison and Eli Betancourt, 22, is awaiting sentencing next month, after both were convicted of murder at trials earlier this year.
Greg Patton, 20, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and is awaiting sentencing. He is expected to receive probation in exchange for his testimony.
A red jersey
Patton has consistently put Laurel in the Jeep Cherokee, with a gun, which Alejandro Betancourt drove to the house on North Jackson that morning. Patton has testified in the other two trials that Laurel went to the house with Eli Betancourt.
But identification of Laurel has been sketchy. The Betancourts, and Patton, only knew the fourth boy in the car by his nickname, "Snoop" or "Snoopy." They also knew him as a member of the North Side Gangstas -- NSG, for short.
Neighbors who saw two males snooping around the door of the house that morning, and firing guns, saw a red jersey. Police later found a Kansas City Chiefs' football jersey later found at a nearby house, where they say Laurel had been staying.
Sullivan, however, pointed out on cross-examination of Miguel's mother, Silvia Martinez, that red is the school color for nearby Cloud Elementary. Red, she acknowledged, was the color of jersey seen a lot around the neighborhood, along with white and blue.
Prosecutors say they are gang colors.
North Side Gangstas
Laurel's trial is the first time evidence of street gangs have been allowed. Judge Ben Burgess granted the state's request to admit gang testimony under case law that allows it when necessary to explain motives or relationships that could effect how others testify.
Muth told the jury Miguel died, because Laurel took the men to the wrong house.
The shooting was supposed to avenge a fight involving Daniel Betancourt, Alejandro's and Eli's older brothers, just weeks before.
"Daniel Betancourt was an original gangster in the NSG's," Muth told the jury, referring to the designation OG, which is used to describe founders or organizers of particular set of a gang.
Wichita police say they've documented Laurel as an NSG, court records show. Muth's motion also contends that Eli Betancourt belonged to the Spanish Disciples street gang, and that Patton and Alejandro Betancourt associated with the Vato Loco Boy gang.
Patton said Laurel showed up at a party the night before the shooting and talked to the Betancourts.
The wrong house
Police say Laurel had apparently seen a Pontiac Grand Am parked at the house where Miguel lived with his mother and two younger brothers. The Grand Am had also been at the fight involving Betancourt at a Wichita apartment complex.
The car actually belonged to Miguel's 16-year-old sister, who had been dating 24-year-old Luis Guerrero. Guerrero had been know to drive the car and had been at the fight involving Daniel Betancourt.
Neither Miguel's sister or Guerrero were home the morning of the shooting.
Silvia Martinez testified she told her son goodnight and gave him a hug around midnight. He fell asleep on the couch, she said, waiting for his dad to pick him up Sunday for Father's Day.
About 6 a.m., Martinez said Miguel went to answer a knock on the door. Before he could open the door, she heard the sound of "banging."
" 'I'm hit, ' " she heard her son say.
Miguel had been shot. He would later die at the hospital.
The trial is expected to continue the rest of the week.