Lester Oseguera was a fellow churchgoer who was going through a rough patch when Roberto Guevera took him in.
Guevera, a 34-year-old house painter, was renting the top floor of a house his boss owned in Bolivar Heights and served as landlord to three other men who were renting rooms downstairs.
One was Douglas Nash, the other was Mauricio Gonzales and the third was a fellow painter and Salvadoran named Jose Luna.
Guevera said he and the other three got along but he considered Luna, 28, to be "a great friend." "He was always there for me," Guevera said.
He'd only known Oseguera for maybe a month, having met him at a Christian Hispanic church.
Oseguera's girlfriend had apparently skipped the country with their son and Guevera, being a good Good Samaritan, let him stay in a spare room downstairs until he got his life together.
"I wanted to help him out," Guevera said. Oseguera, 30, is on trial in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster for second-degree murder.
He's accused of shooting Luna dead inside the basement suite on Aug. 30, 2010.
Guevera told the jury he wasn't home when the shooting happened, but had seen a rusty machete on Oseguera's bed earlier that night and told him to get rid of it.
Douglas Nash told the court that "Tony," as he knew Oseguera, walked into his room one day gripping a 9mm handgun and warned him, "Don't come too close to me because I get paranoid." Nash said he told his roommates about the incident, but didn't tell Guevera.
"I left for a couple of weeks," Nash told the jury. On Aug. 30, Nash bought a 15-pack of beer after finishing his warehousing job in Burnaby that afternoon and headed to the Surrey house.
He then visited his buddy Kevin in Sapperton and invited his friend Tanya over.
After drinking some beer, he and Tanya headed back to his place in Bolivar Heights on SkyTrain but got separated, and she got there first.
Nash found her in the back stairwell talking with Oseguera. He said he went to his room to drop his backpack and have a beer when he heard Tanya and Oseguera arguing about kids and welfare.
He told the jury "Tony" pulled out a gun, said "F-k you, puta," and took a shot at Tanya. Nash said he saw a whiff of smoke as the bullet broke a "chunk" out of a concrete step between her legs.
His ears were ringing and Tanya ran for her life.
Nash told the court on Monday that Oseguera yelled at him for bringing her home but he didn't respond.
"I was afraid of what he'd do," Nash said. "I didn't want to get shot, too."
Nash said he was walking to his room when Luna's bedroom door opened, and Luna came out and said something to Oseguera in Spanish.
"Tony just shot him in the stomach there, basically," Nash said.
Nash said his roommates knew him to be a movie buff. He said Oseguera asked him "Is this like one of your movies, man?" after shooting Luna.
Nash testified that he then said to Oseguera that Luna was going to die, and Oseguera replied, "You're f-king right," then grabbed him by the arm and told him, "We're getting out of here, you and me" as Luna lay slumped in the doorway, "gargling" and "snoring." Luna's mom, here from El Salvador to hear the trial, wept as a translator relayed the grim testimony.
"I saw it happen, like directly," Nash said of the shooting.
But during cross-examination, defence lawyer David Tarnow noted Nash had originally told police he hadn't witnessed the shooting.
Nash said he'd initially lied because he was "basically afraid and didn't want to rat out" but later changed his mind and called police to correct his story. He said he decided to tell the truth and do "the right thing," regardless of the consequences.
Nash told the jury he "had a good buzz" but wasn't staggering drunk, despite drinking more than 15 beers on the day and night of the killing.
Tarnow noted that Nash had told police he was "pretty blitzed."
Nash told the jury on Monday he doesn't remember telling police that.
"I remember everything vividly," he said.
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