Alfredo Martinez turned up "Sureño music" in his car at a convenience store parking lot and stared at the man charged with killing him a few minutes later, according to testimony Friday in Sutter County Superior Court.
It was the second day of a preliminary hearing for Carlos Antonio Rodriguez, a Norteño gang member charged with the first-degree murder of Martinez and the attempted murder of two people in his car.
A woman who was with Martinez mentioned the music and staring in an interview at the Sutter County Sheriff's Department shortly after the Feb. 4 shooting at Lincoln and Sanborn roads, Detective Charles Green testified.
The Appeal-Democrat is withholding witnesses' names at the request of the District Attorney's Office.
In a separate interview with Green, a man who was in the car with Martinez said he ducked when the first shot was fired. Martinez, who was driving, said, "I think I've been shot," he told Green.
Martinez turned right onto Sanborn Road and drove north to Cherry Street, where his red Impala left the road and went about 100 yards into an orchard. He was dead behind the wheel, Detective Dan Butler testified.
Friends and relatives of Martinez wept as photos of the car were shown.
Green said he and Butler found four bullet holes in the side of the Impala, three of which penetrated inside. Wooden dowels placed through the holes indicated a downward trajectory, Green said before Judge Brian Aronson cut him off.
The shots allegedly were fired from a Chevy Blazer that pulled alongside the Impala.
Rodriguez's attorney, Gary L. Lacy, asked Butler why he and Green originally thought there were three bullet holes in the car instead of four, saying the discrepancy called into question the integrity of the entire investigation.
Two of the holes adjoined each other at the edge of a door handle, Butler said.
Rodriguez became the only suspect after a Sheriff's Department detective familiar with Hispanic gangs identified him in security videos from the Quik Stop Market at Lincoln Road and Walton Avenue, where the staring, or "mad dogging," between Martinez and the two men in the Blazer took place.