Suniga did not testify, and the jury took less than 30 minutes to find him guilty. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty, and the same jury that convicted Suniga will decide if he can be put to death during a “penalty phase” of the trial.
During the guilt/innocence phase of the trial prosecutors told the jury in closing arguments Thursday, “Base your decision the evidence of what is before you.”
While prosecutors also hold Sesilio Lopez responsible for Roswer’s death, they told the jury that Suniga is the man who pulled the trigger. According to court records the two men were looking to rob the One Guy at closing time. Rowser might not have realized there was robbery because he opened a door and started to come through it at the moment he was shot.
During closing arguments the jury was reminded that eyewitnesses described the shooter as having whiteout contacts.
“No question Brian Suniga pulled that trigger. He’s the tall skinny one with the whiteout contacts.”
The jury was told, “David Roswer lost his life over a few dollars. A man lost his life over a couple of bucks. How do you explain that?”
The defense told the jury that emotion does not equal guilt.
“No witness came in this courtroom and said ‘There he is! He shot David Rowser.’”
The defense also said, “You have to prove its Brian Suniga. You have to remove every reasonable doubt from your mind it’s Brian Suniga.”
The trial continues with the penalty phase.