Vicente Benites, originally from the Mexican state of Guerrero, shot and killed another man from Guerrero at an Escondido house party in 1989, according to prosecutor Natalie Villaflor.
The cold-case murder trial started last week, and witnesses have described Benites as firing a semi-automatic handgun into the chest of Margarito Navarreti as the victim sat on a couch.
The party host, Isidro Castaneda, 56, who is originally from Guerrero and has lived in Escondido for 37 years. Castaneda said they were celebrating Benites's 34th birthday at his home on Pennsylvania Avenue when he began shooting Navarreti at close range.
Four witnesses who were at the party 22 years ago testified on September 26, using Spanish-speaking interpreters. Benites, 50, also has an interpreter while he sits at the defense table in the Vista courthouse. He is pleading not guilty and is expected to testify in his own defense on Thursday, September 29.