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The case against two men initially accused of murder following a botched iPhone sale in 2021 is set to be dismissed after it was found the men were defending themselves from the potential buyer, according to District Attorney Toribio “Terry” Palacios.
Anthony Joseph Ferrer, 19, and Cesar Alexandro Torres Parra, 21, were accused of shooting and killing 19-year old Jonathan Jacob Romero on August, 7 2021, after Romero pulled a gun on Ferrer who “confessed to hitting the gun away from his direction, grabbing the gun and shooting” Romero, according to the affidavit.
“The evidence indicated that the person who went to sell the phone got into a vehicle and he was going to get robbed,” Palacios said. “The driver of the vehicle was the one who pulled a gun on him.
“They struggled and, of course, the driver got shot.”
First responders found Romero with several gunshot wounds at the San Juan Plaza located at 713 W. Interstate 2 and he was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
A timeline of Romero’s location was established by investigators after reviewing surveillance camera footage which showed his arrival at the location between 3 and 3:15 p.m. and him meeting with people in a white Chevrolet Malibu.
The Malibu was later found to belong to Ferrer who was roommates with Torres at the time.
According to the affidavit, gunshots were heard through the surveillance footage as a male wearing a dark shirt, blue jeans and black shoes is seen leaving the location.
They got indicted, unfortunately, I think we should’ve caught that before,” Palacios said. “We’ve rectified that now. We think it was a self-defense situation.”
Later on, Torres and Ferrer voluntarily spoke to police and confessed to being inside the Malibu and said they met someone in a Ford F-150, which was driven by Romero, to sell Ferrer’s iPhone.
Ferrer told police that when he entered the truck, a gun was pointed at his head which is when the struggle ensued.
Palacios indicated that both men shouldn’t have been indicted.
“They got indicted, unfortunately, I think we should’ve caught that before,” Palacios said. “We’ve rectified that now. We think it was a self-defense situation.”
A motion to dismiss the indictments for both men was filed through the courts on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Though the murder case against Torres was dismissed, he was rearrested on Sept. 28 for indecent sexual contact with a child and remains jailed on $25,000 in bonds.