YUMA, Ariz. – Andres Flores Galindo is facing first degree premeditated murder among five other felony charges. The trial began Tuesday morning and will continue over the next few weeks.
The first witness is anticipated to testify by Thursday morning. The second witness, Jorge Rios, who initially refused to testify has now agreed to do so.
Judge Nelson ordered Rios to 60 days in jail when Rios refused to testify last year.
Judge Nelson also denied a request for a continuance by Galindo’s attorney Valerie McNeice, who argued that she has never had an opportunity to interview Rios and that she wasn’t prepared for what he would be testifying to.
The judge ordered that Rios be at his Attorney Richard Edgar’s office at 3 p.m. on May 16th where he would make himself available to be interviewed by both the prosecution and the defense.
Prosecutor William Katz of the Yuma County Attorney’s office informed the court that the state will call Rios to the stand on May 24th.
A detective was called to the stand by the state prosecutor for pre-trial motions to identify and confirm Galindo’s gang affiliation and to provide insight on the investigation which he’s been working on.
The detective confirmed that Galindo and the witnesses involved in this case are gang affiliated. Specifically with the “Arizona Mexican Mafia” and “Soma.” Soma is a Somerton based gang.
Galindo is known by “demon” as his gang/street name.
He provided this information because Galindo’s attorney tried to file a motion that would prevent anyone from addressing him as “demon” as she says it would sway the jury, also claiming he is not gang-affiliated.
Tuesday afternoon the judge said that he will not allow for the prosecution to ask about where Galindo got his street name and how he was affiliated to the Mexican mafia.
The detective then went on to explain that Crystal Figuero was found in bed with another gang-member. He said this is most likely what prompted her murder. She was betraying a man named “Jimenez”. according to the detective, Jimenez was calling the shots and ordered for Galindo to take her out.
Figueroa’s body was found March 22nd back in 2013, in a citrus grove near county 17th street and avenue 2e. Figueroa is a mother of three and had been shot 16 times.
The trial is expected to last three weeks and currently set for May 11, 12, 17-19, 24-26, 31 and June 1st.