Trial Begins For Man Charged With Killing 14-Year-Old Tulsa Girl
TULSA, Oklahoma - Wednesday, prosecutors started calling witnesses in the murder trial of Travis Lozada.
He's charged with killing a 14-year-old girl who was riding in her family's pick-up on a Tulsa highway almost three years ago.
Prosecutors say Lozada and two other men came up with a plan to rob April Montano's family of their ATVs, and it was through that plan that the 14-year-old girl was shot and killed.
The defense told the jury the trial isn't about who was involved, but, about who pulled the trigger.
April Montano's father took the stand and, through a translator, talked about the night his daughter was shot.
He said he was driving the family home after an evening riding four-wheelers to celebrate April's eighth grade graduation.
They had just gotten on the Gilcrease Expressway near Peoria when he said someone started shooting at his truck.
Witnesses testified the shots sounded like rocks hitting the truck; once they realized what was happening, they all ducked down. April's brother said by that time his sister had already been hit by a bullet.
April's dad cried as he told the jury he took the shirt off his back to wrap around his little girl's head.
Prosecutors say Lozada, David Ruble and Demonte Rushing saw the truck hauling the four-wheelers and started plotting about how to rob the family.
A jury convicted Ruble of April's murder in September. Rushing hasn't gone to trial yet and took the stand Wednesday.
He testified it was Lozada's idea to rob the family of the truck and four-wheelers so they could sell the ATVs.
Rushing said he agreed to drive but then told the other two men to leave the family alone. Rushing testified right after he said that, Ruble fired a shot.
Rushing said he never saw Lozada with the gun, but April's brother said he saw a flash from the back passenger seat of the suspect's car, which is where prosecutors say Lozada was sitting during the shooting.
A woman who was also in the car, but not charged, testified the suspects’ plans were to shoot out the tires, but they missed.
She said she saw Lozada holding the gun before the shooting, closed her eyes, and then Ruble holding it after.
The trial will pick back up first thing Thursday morning.