INDIO (CNS) – A San Bernardino man was convicted Tuesday of fatally shooting a man outside a Cathedral City home in 2019.
Christian Isaiah Jimenez, 24, was convicted of one felony count of murder in the Aug. 19, 2019, shooting of 21-year-old Alberto Rafael Sosa Alvarez. A sentence-enhancing allegation of discharging a firearm causing great bodily injury was also found true.
He’s set to appear at the Larson Justice Center in Indio for sentencing Aug. 3.
The prosecution and defense delivered closing arguments Thursday and jurors began to weigh evidence from the trial Monday. The jury reached a verdict Tuesday and found Jimenez guilty.
Jimenez went to a small party in Cathedral City Aug. 18, 2019, with around six people unknown to the girl who was hosting the gathering, Deputy District Attorney Jenna Barsamian told jurors during opening statements. At some point, he excused himself to go to the bathroom and when the girl saw the light on in her parents’ room she went to check on him. She saw the defendant with one of his friends inside and believed they were stealing property.
The two fled the scene as she screamed to alert the other guests about what just happened, Barsamian said. The defendant returned to the home two times, once to pick up two friends and again shortly after midnight Aug. 19, 2019, when Sosa started approaching him and Jimenez made it known that he was armed.
“The defendant issued a warning, `I’ma pop you, get back,’ and then he started to count like he was a parent disciplining a child,” Barsamian told jurors. “Then he fired the fatal shot that killed Alberto Sosa … and he left him there, screaming in pain in the street, in the gutter, like trash that he was discarding. All over some stolen property.”
Jimenez kept saying he didn’t steal anything and left the party because he was being wrongfully accused, Dolan told jurors. He subsequently returned to explain himself, when Sosa began to “aggressively” approach his vehicle.
“Mr. Sosa is throwing insults at him, demanding that he give back the stolen property … and then this countdown took place, but the context of the countdown is important. … He’s counting down trying to give a fair warning,” Dolan said. “And then when the guy gets close enough to him, he shoots him. He shoots him because he believes he’s going to be shot by Mr. Sosa, that was what was in his mind.”
Sosa was found suffering from gunshot wounds at about 12:50 a.m. on a sidewalk in the 68300 block of Madrid Road after police received multiple 911 calls about a disturbance in the area, according to the Cathedral City Police Department. Officers began life-saving efforts until paramedics arrived and took him to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, where he died.
Jimenez was arrested Sept. 3, 2019 when he was tracked to a residence in the 1900 block of Clary Drive in Needles, according to police.
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