The defense in the Fred Yazdi murder trial rested its case Monday afternoon without calling a single witness to the stand. During opening statements last week, defense attorney Bob Phillips told jurors they would hear from Yazdi about why he shot 23-year-old Enrique Recio in February 2012.
Jurors were not present when Yazdi said he was choosing not to testify based on the advice of his attorney.
"Despite my eagerness to testify in this case and let the jury and whole world know what happened, I'm going based on listening to your advice," Yazdi said.
Phillips has said Yazdi feared for his and his family's safety and during the trial he read part of the statement Yazdi gave police.
"Sir, I want you to know I gave this man many opportunities to stop and again he turned around towards me again and I was in fear for my life."
Recio was shot in the stomach, hip and thigh and was found on the sidewalk in front of Yazdi's home when police arrived in the early morning hours of February 3, 2012. Recio had crashed his car near Yazdi's home. He walked away from his vehicle and called his friend who told jurors about the phone call.
"He was just like, 'Man I'm worried. I was in a wreck. Are you on your way?'" said Nick Pascale.
Yazdi's wife reportedly saw Recio hiding under her car outside their home. She said she woke up her husband and Yazdi came outside with his gun. According to police, Yazdi told Recio not to run or he would shoot him. Recio tried to get away and police say Yazdi shot Recio three times, killing him. It's unclear why Recio may have ended up in Yazdi's front yard. Blood alcohol test results show that Recio was intoxicated when he was killed.
In the APD dashcam video from the scene, Yazdi can be heard telling police that Recio was banging on his door. His attorney told jurors Yazdi believed Recio had a gun, although prosecutors pointed out that Yazdi did not tell police that on the scene. Recio was unarmed and a cell phone was found underneath his body.
Closing arguments will begin Tuesday morning.