Jurors began deliberations Monday in the case of an Orange County man who shot his wife outside the Montebello restaurant where she worked in what a prosecutor characterized as a “cold-blooded murder” and a defense attorney described as a “heat of passion shooting.”
Both lawyers agreed that on March 16, 2013, Arthur Andrew Andrade Jr., 31, of Tustin, shot his wife, Esperanza, six times in the head. She had been sitting in her car in the restaurant parking lot when he shot her. She died at the scene.
The shooting was captured on video surveillance. Andrade, who turned himself in less than 24 hours later, is charged with murder and a gun allegation.
Deputy District Attorney Pallavi Dhawan said the victim, identified as Esperanza S. in the criminal complaint, was trying to escape from Andrade, “an obsessive, controlling and abusive man.”
In the six weeks before the shooting, Esperanza obtained a restraining order, disabled her social media accounts and hoped to “be left in peace,” Dhawan said.
However, she couldn’t disappear entirely, Dhawan said, and “there was no piece of paper that was going to protect her from this man, who was bent on destroying her because she didn’t want to be with him.”
Dhawan said evidence showed that the murder was planned by Andrade, who testified in his defense during the trial.
“The tears that he shed in court were for himself … all to convince you that he’s guilty of a crime less than murder,” Dhawan told jurors. “He’s a murderer.”
Defense attorney Dale K. Galipo said Andrade was severely depressed and suicidal over the break-up of his marriage.
“This is a very sad case,” Galipo told the jury panel. “Everybody in this courtroom wishes they could take back what happened.”
The couple had a pattern of breaking up and getting back together, according to Galipo.
Andrade’s wife sent him expletive-filled text messages calling him a “loser” and verbally abusing his family, but Andrade was still “trying to make the marriage work,” his attorney said.
“He may have been the abused spouse in this relationship,” Galipo said. “He may have been the battered one.”
Andrade didn’t plan to kill his wife, Galipo said. His client wore “no disguise, going to a place of business where everyone knows (him), where (he knew) there were cameras.”
However, the two argued and when his wife told him she had never loved him, was sleeping with another man and had only used him to get documentation to stay in the U.S. legally, he was pushed beyond his limits.
“Art lost it. He totally lost it,” Galipo said, after suggesting that Andrade brought the gun with him because he may have planned to kill himself.
“It doesn’t make the killing lawful, but it makes it manslaughter,” the defense attorney told the jury panel.
If convicted of murder, Andrade faces up to life in prison.