MODESTO -- UPDATE: A jury did not resume deliberations today in a trial against three men accused of murder in a 2009 north Modesto shooting.
Eric Arguello, 21, Victor Zapien, 24, and Kelly Valle, 28, are on trial in connection with the shooting deaths of Christopher Diaz, 20, and Mark Ochoa, 19.
The jurors in the trial deliberated for several hours Wednesday but had not reached a verdict by the end of the day. Due to a scheduling conflict, the jury will resume deliberations Friday.
MODESTO -- A jury is expected to continue deliberations today in a trial against three men accused of murder in a 2009 north Modesto shooting that left two men dead and resulted in a high-speed police chase in which shots were fired.
Authorities say Eric Arguello, 21, Victor Zapien, 24, and Kelly Valle, 28, are responsible for the shooting deaths of Christopher Diaz, 20, and Mark Ochoa, 19.
Defense attorneys say the defendants were looking to settle a dispute without violence and only returned fire to defend themselves during the deadly confrontation.
Arguello, Zapien and Valle are on trial charged with murder in the deaths of the two men. A fourth defendant, David Ferrel, 33, is being tried separately.
Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Nancy Ashley gave the jury its instructions Wednesday morning. The jury of 10 women and two men began deliberating about 10:30 a.m. and had not reached a verdict by the end of the day.
The shooting occurred shortly after midnight Aug. 31, 2009, in front of Diaz's home in the 2600 block of Maxine Drive, north of Floyd Avenue and west of Coffee Road.
The defendants also have been charged with the attempted murder of a surviving witness and attempted murder of a police officer. Authorities say shots were fired at police during the chase. The officers were not injured and did not return fire.
Ferrel testified in the trial that he fired a gun into the air during the chase to get a police patrol car to back off, but he never fired at the officer. He said his gun accidentally fired while jumping over a fence.
His trial was separated from the other defendants because his defense attorney suffered a stroke.
Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2394.