GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) - Two sides and two very different stories.
Along with two very different ideals of what constitutes self-defense.
Enrique Recio was intoxicated when he wrecked his car into a retaining wall in Avery Ranch in the early morning hours of February 3rd, 2013.
During opening statements at the murder trial for Fred Yazdi, both the prosecution and defense told the jury that much was fact and Recio was trying to avoid being arrested for DWI when he made his way towards the home of Yazdi.
But their accounts differ greatly when it comes to the perceived threat Recio posed to Yazdi.
"I said stop or I will shoot you, stop or I will shoot you," prosecutor Josh Reno said to the jury as he read a statement Yazdi gave police the night Recio was shot three times. "He continued running and I shot him, sir."
Prosecutors say Recio was waiting for a friend to pick him up after he wrecked his car despite no signs of a burglary or robbery. Yazdi emerged from his home to threaten Recio with a gun before firing.
Recio's body was found lying on the sidewalk on the other side of a wrought-iron fence separating the walkway from Yazdi's property.
The defense gave jurors a much different version of the story.
Defense attorney Bob Phillips said in his opening statement Recio was hiding from police by sneaking underneath one of Yazdi's vehicles parked in the driveway and at one point used his shoulder to pound on their front door.
There was audible mumbling and head-shaking from the audience filled with Recio family and friends when Phillips made the assertion Recio was trying to get into the home, prompting a warning from Judge Bert Richardson for audience members to stay silent.
Recio's blood-alcohol level was twice the legal limit after a night out with friends according to Phillips who said the jury will hear testimony to suggest Recio fled the scene of the car accident after asking a witness "you are not going to call police, are you?"
Yazdi's wife was awakened by the sound of a stranger's voice in the middle of the night. After being awakened himself by his startled wife, Fred Yazdi grabbed his weapon and Phillips painted a picture of a scared family.
"He’s trying to process this at 3am with his wife telling him the phone doesn’t work, with his sons sleeping upstairs and wondering 'is there is one? Is there two? What am I dealing with here?," said Phillips to the jury.
No 911 call was every placed to police from the Yazdi home until after the shooting occurred. Yazdi's wife, Lehla, said the phones were not working when she tried to call before the shooting.
While warning Recio to stop, Yazdi believed a cell-phone in Recio's hand was a firearm, according to Phillips, and that is why he fired.
However, in his statement given to police on scene, Yazdi said he was acting to keep his family safe but did not mention he believed Recio had a gun. He only said he fired because Recio did not stop when ordered to stop.
A five-man, seven woman jury was seated Tuesday in the murder trial of Fred Yazdi, who is charged with killing 23-year-old Enrique Recio in February 2012 in Avery Ranch.
During the jury selection process, his attorney Bob Phillips told prospective jurors they are intending to put Fred Yazdi on the stand to testify about his actions. The laws governing the “Castle Doctrine” and self-defense were also thoroughly discussed as prospective jurors were polled about their feelings towards deadly force in self-defense situations.
In the early morning hours of Feb. 3 2012, Enrique Recio was involved in a car accident near Avery Ranch. He ran towards Yazdi’s house where some kind of contact between the two men took place. Recio was shot and killed but his body was found on the sidewalk, just on the other side of a short fence separating the walkway from Yazdi’s driveway.
Presiding Judge Bert Richardson told the jury the trial is expected to last into the middle of next week. Opening statements are expected to begin Tuesday afternoon. The jury will be asked to closely examine the laws pertaining to self-defense and weighing them with the evidence.
The law states:
“A person can use deadly force, when and to the degree, they believe the deadly force is immediately necessary to protect himself or others against unlawful deadly force.”
“A homeowner’s belief in the necessity of deadly force is presumed to be reasonable if the intruder was forcibly attempting to enter his home, car, or business.”
Chris Sadeghi is live tweeting from the Fred Yazdi trial. You can follow his tweets at www.twitter.com/chrissadeghi
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