State v. Chacano - No. 20120187
Vincente Chacano appeals from a criminal judgment entered after a jury found him guilty of two counts of attempted murder.
In February 2011, Chacano was on trial in Adams County. After the jury read its verdicts, a courtroom scuffle ensued, and Chacano was subdued. The State charged him with attempted murder of the prosecutor, sheriff, and twelve jurors.
At trial, the State entered an audio recording of the courtroom scuffle and evidence Chacano brought a loaded handgun and 38 rounds of ammunition into court. The prosecutor testified as the jury began to leave that he turned and saw Chacano point the gun at him and pull the trigger. The prosecutor testified Chacano appeared bewildered when the gun did not fire and began working the gun's action. The prosecutor testified as he lunged at Chacano, Chacano pointed the gun at the jury, again pulling the trigger, but the gun did not go off. The State produced evidence the sheriff also ran at Chacano, and Chacano pointed the gun at the sheriff and pulled the trigger. The gun did not go off, and Chacano was subdued.
In contrast, Chacano testified he did not bring the gun into court to harm anyone. Chacano testified he had the gun in his vehicle because the night before the incident, he planned to shoot a predator that had killed some chickens at his rural home. Chacano testified he was unable to find the predator, so he put the gun in his pickup and went back to town. He testified he was not feeling well and was under considerable stress because of the trial. As he returned to court after a lunch recess the next day, Chacano testified he saw the gun in his pickup and tucked it behind his waistband, planning to put it under the seat when he arrived. Later realizing he had the gun with him in court, Chacano testified he got up to get rid of it, and his "body felt like electricity," he felt a pain in his head, and his "body was not responding." He testified he next remembers being on the floor. Chacano was found guilty of attempted murder of the sheriff and prosecutor and not guilty of attempted murder of the jurors.
On appeal, Chacano argues the trial court erred in admitting the audio tape in evidence; the prosecutor committed misconduct during closing arguments by telling the jury, "the Defendant's testimony is a lie"; and the trial evidence was insufficient to sustain the guilty verdicts.