Witnesses take the stand in Suniga murder trial - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Witnesses take the stand in Suniga murder trial

Brian Suniga (Source: Lubbock County Detention Center) Brian Suniga (Source: Lubbock County Detention Center)

A long-awaited capital murder trial began at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning.

34-year-old Brian Suniga is accused of killing 26-year-old David Rowser II in December of 2011.

Prosecutors opened their statements by describing the events of the night the incident occurred.

The prosecution said Suniga fatally shot Rowser during a robbery at the One Guy From Italy restaurant on 50th Street, where Rowser was an employee.

The Defense opened by telling the jury that it is their oath to make a decision not based on emotion or anger, but on the law of evidence.

They also reminded the jury that Suniga is innocent unless proven guilty. 

Witnesses were then called to the stand.

Christy Hensley, Communication Director, testified to the 911 calls made to the center on the night of the incident. At least five 911 calls were made and were played for the jury including a call made by Jonathon Roswer, David's brother.

In the 911 phone call you hear Jonathon telling David to "Stay with me. You do not give up on me. You can do this. Stay with me, Come on. Stay with me."

Rowser took the stand following those recordings and spoke about his brother and the night his brother was fatally shot. 

Jonathon testified that he was standing behind the cash register while his brother cleaned the bathrooms. This was when two armed men entered the business and demanded money.

He said David was shot as he exited the restroom. Witnesses said David was shot two times in the chest and once in the neck. 

Three One Guy employees who also witnessed the events of that night were called to the stand.

Two witnesses recalled one of the men yelling if David wanted to be a hero before he was shot.

One witness, a customer, described hiding in the back of the restaurant when the shooting happened.

"Someone had just been shot and I wasn't sure it was over," he said. "It seemed like forever, but in reality it was probably 5 or 10 seconds."

LPD officers testified late on Tuesday afternoon. The first one said he arrived within seconds of receiving the call. Officers described securing the scene and rendering first aid to David.

A bench warrant has also been issued for Suniga's brother, Michael, who is a potential witness in the case.

We have a crew at the trial, and will bring you the very latest on air and online at kcbd.com.

Copyright 2014 KCBD. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly