Officers Describe Chaos During Shooting
Closing Arguments Set in Andrade Trial
Posted: December 5, 2012 at 3:18 a.m.
FAYETTEVILLE A Fayetteville man facing up to life in prison on eight counts of attempted capital murder for shooting at police during a March standoff chose not to testify or call witnesses on his behalf Tuesday.
A speech made at trial after all the evidence has been presented. The closing reviews and summarizes the evidence and forcefully explains why the verdict should be granted in favor of the arguing party.
Source: NOLO Legal Dictionary
Sergio Hidalgo Andrade Martinez, 52, of Fayetteville, also faces two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of being a felon in possession of a gun, possession of cocaine and possession of drugs and a gun.
The case will go to a Washington County Circuit Court jury after closing arguments this morning.
Andrade was arrested March 24 after a standoff that left Fayetteville police officer Blake Williamson with a gunshot wound to the ankle.
Williamson recounted to the jury seeing Andrade step out onto a second floor balcony with a gun. Williamson yelled at Andrade to drop the weapon.
“He pointed the gun directly at me and started firing,” Williamson said.
Williamson returned fire and was moving to a safer cover location when he was hit.
Other police officers testifying Tuesday described profanity-laced threats to kill police if they didn’t leave, and a barrage of gunfire from the Bedford Loop apartment.
“All hell broke loose. There were repeated shots fired. I could see muzzle flashes on the balcony,” said officer Curtis Sutley. “I saw the gun sweeping toward my direction. My life and the lives of the other officers on the scene were in danger.”
Andrade fired at least eight rounds, based on the number of empty shell casings found at the scene. Police returned fire and Andrade retreated inside his apartment.
One shot almost hit two residents in an apartment across the street. They spent about six hours cowering in a bathroom.
Police described the chaos of trying to evacuate families with children from the building where Andrade was holed up while shots were ringing out. Some were brought out through windows and down ladders.
Andrade was eventually taken down by an emergency response team that slipped into a neighboring apartment using a ladder. Negotiators lured Andrade onto the landing where he was zapped with a stun gun.
“The door was open. He came to close the door and I tazed him,” said officer Robert Hargus. “He fell down and we cuffed him.”
The state rested its case midafternoon Tuesday. Attorneys for Andrade sought dismissal of most of the charges arguing the state failed to prove he intended to kill police officers and he didn’t know most of the officers were there.
Judge William Storey denied the motions but will allow jurors to consider the options of lesser offenses of attempted first- and second-degree murder.
Andrade faces a total of 24 separate charges and sentencing enhancements.