Jury deliberations for accused freeway shooter - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Jury deliberations for accused freeway shooter

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A jury will hold a second of deliberations Tuesday in the trial of a man accused of shooting at freeway motorists during the morning commute in San Diego, wounding a college student and hitting the car of another driver.

In her closing arguments Monday in the trial of Stephen Dragasits, prosecutor Chandelle Konstanzer said the defendant deliberately fired from his motor home, which was parked alongside southbound state Route 163, wounding 21-year-old University of San Diego student Ashley Simmons and hitting the car of Jeffrey Lloyd-Jones.

"He was aiming at these individuals," the prosecutor said. "He was aiming. He intended on killing them."

But defense attorney Euketa Oliver told the jury in her closing argument that no one saw her client shoot at anyone the morning of April 5, 2011.

Video footage shot by a motorist driving in the area the morning of the shootings shows a motor home parked by the freeway, but it is a different motor home than the defendant's, Oliver said.

The defendant is charged with attempted murder, shooting at an occupied vehicle and assault with a firearm. He faces 43 years to life in prison if convicted.

Konstanzer said the 59-year-old Dragasits lived in his RV and liked to hang out in the vicinity of Kearny Mesa Road along the freeway near the Clairemont Mesa exit. About a month before the shootings, Dragasits was convicted of throwing large rocks at cars in the same area, she said.

The CHP found .22-caliber shell casings in the area after the shootings, and some of the casings had the defendant's DNA on them, Konstanzer said.

But Oliver said there were questions regarding the collection of evidence and whether acceptable standards were followed in testing for DNA on the shell casings.

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