The credibility of the key witness in the murders of Sean Aquitania and his 7-month-old infant son Sean Jr. was challenged Tuesday in the murder trial of two suspects accused of a robbery gone bad.
Richard Noguera testified that Christopher Strong and Donald Ortez Lucero told him that they were responsible for the killings in 2007 that shocked the country. Investigators said at the time that a gunman put a bullet in the infant boys head in an incident that also left his father dead.
Admitted drug dealer Richard Noguera was initially arrested in the shooting after telling a girlfriend that he was the shooter in a drunken rant. He testified that he rented the car used by the alleged robbers and cleaned the car of blood after Ortez Lucero was accidentally shot during the incident.
Noguera was set free in 2012 after a cell phone placed him away from the shooting scene. But Noguera agreed to testify against Strong and Ortez Lucero. He told a jury that he didn’t go to police because he was threatened by the pair.
But during cross-examination by defense attorneys, Noguera was combative saying “I don’t remember” to dozens of questions related to his drug dealing, ownership of unregistered guns, and details of his involvement with the suspects. He admitted that he often lied to suit his own purposes.
Under questioning he said he had several phones, weakening his alibi that cell phone records show he was not at the scene of the shootings. He also said he lied when he told a girlfriend he’d killed 20 people. He told police investigating the Aquitania murders that “I didn’t kill anybody else…”
He told the jury he misspoke.
Noguera was asked about his TV interview with Fox40 after his arrest in which he said he was a spiritual family man. But under cross-examination, he admitted to beating women, selling drugs for a living, owning unregistered guns and having multiple sex partners at the same time.
Today the defense implied that it was Noguera who planned the robbery that led to the murders, and that he was a ruthless liar who never could have been scared into silence by the defendants. The defense tried to introduce reasonable doubt into the prosecution’s case not the least of which is the fact that he was granted immunity from all crimes related to the murders in exchange for his testimony.