A state appeals court panel Friday upheld a man’s murder conviction for acting as a lookout while his brother fatally beat a neighbor in an unincorporated area near La Puente.
The three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s claims that there was insufficient evidence to support Jonathan Macias’ conviction and that the investigating detective’s narration of security camera footage was inadmissible and violated his right to a fair trial.
Last September, the same appellate court panel rejected a similar appeal filed on behalf of the defendant’s older brother, Flavio Macias Jr., who was convicted of first-degree murder for the Aug. 24, 2015, attack on 44-year-old Luis Segura, who died two days later.
“Flavio admitted he killed Segura. And there was no dispute that Jonathan was the man loitering on the street as Flavio killed Segura,” the panel noted in its 14-page ruling in Jonathan Macias’ case. “…. The video was powerful evidence that Jonathan aided and abetted the crime. The detective’s narration as to Jonathan was primarily descriptive, pointing out in what direction Jonathan was walking, that he was peering over the fence, and running inside. As to the detective’s statement it appeared Jonathan acted as a lookout, this was hardly a controversial or surprising statement.”
The panel noted that it had no reason to find that the detective’s narration overrode the jury’s independent analysis of the video, adding that jurors asked that the video be sent into the jury room during deliberations.
The two brothers were arrested after a standoff that lasted nearly eight hours and resulted in the use of tear gas and a police dog to flush them out in the early morning hours the day after the attack.
Police found bloody clothes and shoes inside Flavio Macias Jr.’s home that tested positive for the victim’s blood, along with a cement paver and hammer that had Segura’s blood on them, according to the appellate court panel’s ruling. Jonathan Macias’ DNA was not on any of the items that were tested, the justices noted.
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