Latin Kings trial goes to jury
By Teresa Auch Schultz email@example.com September 25, 2012 3:40PM
Updated: October 27, 2012 6:16AM
The trial of a Chicago man accused of taking part in the criminal acts of the Latin Kings street gang and murdering a woman wrapped up Tuesday as both sides gave their closing arguments at the U.S. District Court in Hammond.
Assistant U.S. Attorney David Nozick told the jury evidence shows that Martin Anaya knowingly took part in the Latin Kings during the past two decades, and, even though he did not take part in various murders in Indiana himself, he should still be held responsible for them.
Anaya’s co-defendants and fellow Latin King members have already pleaded guilty in those killings, including the double homicide outside a Griffith restaurant in February 2007.
“They’re all responsible under the law for each other’s actions,” Nozick told the jury.
He also argued that evidence showed that Anaya did pull the trigger in the shooting death of Christina Campos in April 2009 in Chicago. He said evidence from the autopsy corroborates what a witness, Mary Gonzalez, testified to, about seeing Anaya walk up to where Campos hid between two parked cars and fire a shot. Several witnesses also identified Anaya as being at the scene of the crime, Nozick said, and evidence showed his van was used during the shooting.
Adam Tavitas, Anaya’s attorney, fought to poke holes in the prosecution’s arguments, however, saying that Gonzalez could not identify Anaya in a photo lineup two days after the shooting. When she did identify him during a live lineup, Tavitas said, it was a month after the shooting and most of the men were far taller than Anaya’s short and stocky build.
“You tell me Martin Anaya doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb,” Anaya said as he showed the jury a picture from that lineup.
He also argued that the area where the shooting took place, near the corner of Hoxie Avenue and 108th Street, was dark that time of night and it was 100 feet to 125 feet away from Gonzalez’s house. No one else testified to seeing Anaya shoot Campos.
He also argued that the medical examiner’s report could also corroborate that Campos was actually accidentally shot by her fellow Latin Counts.
Joseph Cooley, an attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, said even if Campos was killed by someone else, the shooting started because Anaya and other Latin Kings came into the neighborhood to start trouble with the rival Latin Counts.
“They put things in motion, and as a result, Christina Campos was shot and killed,” Cooley said.
Anaya faces one count each of conspiracy to racketeer, conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 150 kilograms of cocaine and 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, murder in aid of racketeering and murder resulting from the use of a gun during a violent crime or drug trafficking.
The jury was expected to receive the case for deliberation Tuesday afternoon.