EVERETT — A Snohomish County jury was told to listen for lies Wednesday as testimony began about the 2015 gang-related killing of a south Everett teen.
Diego Tavares, 20, is charged with first-degree murder. He is accused of gunning down Anthony Camacho during a Dec. 12, 2015, attack on a house party where members of a rival gang were gathered.
“There is a straight line you can draw” between the gunfire that ended Camacho’s life and other acts of violence that have regularly pitted members of rival gangs against each other in south Everett in recent years, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Craig Matheson said.
The prosecutor described how Tavares, known on the street by the nickname “Crooks,” is a member of one of four local gangs that have divided into two violent, feuding alliances.
Evidence will show that Tavares was angry over an encounter with members of a rival set, and that he gathered together friends and went looking for a chance to retaliate, Matheson said.
The prosecutor showed jurors Facebook profiles of the defendant and two other young men who have since admitted they were involved in the killing.
Phone records and dozens of social media posts provide a good trail of who Tavares was in contact with, and when, during the hours leading up to the killing, the prosecutor said. He told jurors that Tavares learned his rivals were gathered at the party because of social media.
“It is shocking how much time these guys spend on Facebook,” Matheson said.
Camacho was shot in the head when he stepped outside the house. The student at ACES High School in the Mukilteo School District was just a few days shy of turning 18. His friends and family say he knew people who were involved in gangs, but he wasn’t a member.
Public defender Emily Hiskes told jurors there apparently were no witnesses, except for the person who pulled the trigger. That wasn’t her client, she said.
She urged jurors to pay close attention to questions that have gone unanswered, such as what happened to the .22-caliber handgun used to kill Camacho. She also asked them to carefully weigh testimony from two other young men, both now 17, who already have pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for their involvement and plan to testify against her client.
Edgar Calixto has admitted he used his father’s Lincoln to drive the group to the party, knowing violence was planned. Guillermo Padilla, meanwhile, claims he gave Tavares the loaded handgun.
The pair are expected to implicate Tavares, but they’ve also told multiple, shifting stories about what happened.
“You are going to hear that they lied, over and over and over, for months,” Hiskes said.
In his opening statements, Matheson told jurors that the pair did lie to investigators while others, including people who claimed to be Camacho’s friends, were “completely uncooperative.”
He urged jurors to compare stories told by any of the witnesses with the evidence that detectives assembled in building their case.
The trial is expected to last into March.
Scott North: 425-339-3431; email@example.com. Twitter: @snorthnews.