In opening statements to a jury on June 16, a defense attorney appeared to impugn the alleged murder victim, saying “everybody knew” the deceased was a drug dealer in the neighborhood and a “multi-convicted felon.”
Retained counsel for Diego Arturo Martinez, now 22, seemed to suggest that Martinez was protecting the children in his home when he opened fire on Robert Robbins, 47, who died after suffering multiple gunshots the night of August 30, 2012.
The defendant and victim lived across the street from each other.
Robbins may have been armed or reaching for a weapon, attorney Herb Weston also suggested to a jury of 7 men and 5 women.
The defender also claimed that the deceased man had three letters tattooed across his stomach: VHB, which stand for Vista Home Boys, a street gang.
Martinez pleads not guilty to one charge of murder and one charge of attempted murder, for also shooting Robbins’s girlfriend Lisa Badgett, who sat in the driver’s seat of a pickup truck in the 4700 block of Calle Solimar, in Oceanside.
Although Badgett suffered at least one shot through her face, she was able to speak to officers that night and did identify her attacker, according to prosecutor David Bost.
Badgett, 51, was the first witness called to testify.
Soon after the shooting, on two occasions and in two interviews, Martinez admitted the shooting to investigators, the prosecutor said. During the second interview the suspect was told that the woman who was shot in the face hadn’t died, and Martinez allegedly replied, “Not yet.”
The trial continues in Vista’s North County Superior Court.