Jurors deliberating fate of Edward Salas

CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks Prosecutor Matt Chandler presents his closing argument Friday in the first-degree murder trial of Edward Salas at the Curry County Courthouse, while Salas and his defense team looks on.

CNJ staff writer Sharna Johnson

Jurors began deliberations just before noon Friday after hearing almost three hours of closing arguments from attorney’s in the first-degree murder trial of Edward Salas.
Salas is accused in the Sept. 15, 2005, shooting death of 10-year-old Carlos Perez.

In addition to first-degree murder, jurors must render verdicts on charges of the attempted murder of Ruben Perez, shooting at a dwelling or occupied building, two counts of bribery or intimidation of a witness, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and conspiracy to shooting at a dwelling or occupied building.

Salas is one of five charged similarly in the case.

Under state statute, if it is proven Salas intended for someone to be killed and/or assisted, encouraged or caused the crime, he can be convicted of first-degree murder regardless of who actually fired the fatal shot, the judge told jurors during the reading of instructions.

Likewise, it doesn’t matter if Carlos Perez was the intended target or not if it is proven Salas intended for someone to be shot.