A Tucson man accused in the fatal shooting of a 74-year old man was found guilty of second-degree murder Thursday.
Prosecutors throughout the trial accused Mario Hipolito Enriquez, 26, of lying to police and concocting a cover story to downplay his involvement in the shooting death of William Herr in 2010.
Deputy Pima County Attorney Lew Brandes told jurors Enriquez went to Herr’s house on the 7200 block of South Julia Place in Nov. 2010 where he shot Herr four times with an AK-47 semi-automatic rifle.
Herr also shot Enriquez in the face and stomach during the incident. Afterward Enriquez fled to Mexico to seek medical help.
Enriquez’s attorney, Stan Bloom, said his client was defending himself when he shot and killed Herr.
Enriquez testified that he had gone to Herr’s house to help David Robert Ancheta collect a drug debt.
Ancheta also faces trial in Herr’s killing.
Enriquez said Ancheta gave him a loaded AK-47 and the two went to Herr’s house in separate cars. When Enriquez arrived, however, Ancheta already was in the house where Herr was pointing a gun at him.
“It was self defense,” Bloom said. “If he didn’t shoot back, he’s a dead man.”
Brandes said the claim of self defense was implausible, noting Enriquez had taken a gun from a man he hardly knew and agreed to collect a debt from a stranger.
“This was a home invasion,” Brandes said.
He also cast doubt on the claim that Herr owed Ancheta a drug debt saying Herr was a father, grandfather and cared for a son with a disability.
“Is this ‘Breaking Bad’ at 74?” Brandes said in reference to the television series where a man starts selling drugs to provide for his family after being diagnosed with cancer. Brandes said police found no evidence of drugs in the house.
Enriquez was found not guilty on burglary charges in the case. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 13.
Contact reporter Patrick McNamara at 573-4241 or email@example.com.