GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The murder trial continues Thursday in the case against Raymond Barrios, the man accused of killing 20-year-old Saul Espinoza in 2019.
Court documents show Barrios fled to Guatemala following the July 6 shooting.
Jose Jacobo, 21, plead to lesser charges last year in connection with Espinoza’s death.
Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker cannot speak on the specifics of an ongoing case, but did tell News 8 the shooting was gang-related.
“Given the serious nature of the charges, we’re doing everything we can, including bringing people back from different countries to make sure that they face a jury and are held accountable for whatever crimes they committed,” Becker said.
The case is expected to be handed over to the jury as early as this evening.
The shooting happened July 6, 2019, at the intersection of 6th Street NW and Front Avenue, across the river from Sixth Street Park. That wasn’t long after nor far from where the annual fireworks display was held. The Grand Rapids Police Department said the victim, 20-year-old Saul Espinoza, was already dead when officers arrived on the scene and found his body in a car that had crashed into another vehicle. An 18-year-old woman was also injured.
Court documents show Espinoza was a member of the Mexican Mob and that police believed four members of the rival Latin Kings gang surrounded his car and fired two dozen shots into it.
— News 8’s Rachel Van Gilder contributed to this report.