Crime - Sacto 911

Jury begins deliberations in baby-killing trial

Jury deliberations began Thursday in the murder trial of two men accused in the shooting deaths of a 7-month old baby and the infant’s father during a robbery at a south Sacramento area drug house seven years ago.

The panel of seven women and five men filed out of Sacramento Superior Court Judge Patrick Marlette’s courtroom around 3 p.m. after the lawyers finished two days worth of closing arguments.

Donald Ortez-Lucero, 29, and Christopher Nicholas Strong, 30, are accused in the Sept. 14, 2007, shootings on Country Greens Court in which Sean Aquitania Sr., 21, and his son, Sean Aquitania Jr., were killed.

Deputy District Attorney Eric Kindall said that Ortez-Lucero and Strong “were a team for evil, and they need to be held accountable for that.” Kindall said that DNA evidence ties them to the scene as does a gunshot wound to Strong’s knee that was fired by his partner, with the bullet first passing through Aquitania Sr.

Defense attorneys Charles Bourdon for Ortez-Lucero, who is the accused gunman, and Donald Masuda, who is representing Strong, said their clients are innocent.

Bourdon asked jurors to question the prosecution’s circumstantial case. Bourdon also blamed the killing on Richard Noguera, a former roommate of Ortez-Lucero and Strong who testified during the trial that Ortez-Lucero and Strong told him about the shooting.

Masuda sought to undermine a key piece of the prosecution’s case - that Strong was shot during the robbery when a bullet fired by Ortez-Lucero passed through Aquitania and hit the defendant in the leg. He said his client was never shot.

Testimony in the case began on Feb. 3.