TAMPA (FOX 13) - The night Enrique Garcia was shot and killed by defendant Ruben Rodriguez, he had alcohol in this system, and meth -- a lot of it.
Hillsborough County toxicologist Dr. Julia Pearson testified the mix of drugs and alcohol could elevate bad behavior, "so it indicated to me the person had used multiple does of meth that day.”
Defense attorney Anthony Rickman is trying to show the jury that Garcia was the aggressor the day he was shot dead by asking Dr. Pearson if the high levels of meth could cause violent behavior, anger, or aggressiveness.
“Yes,” replied Dr. Pearson.
In January of 2015, Rodriguez, an Army veteran, spotted two men running from his shed and ordered his then-girlfriend Crystal Henderson to grab his gun. They jumped in his car and, with his AR-15 in hand, approached Garcia and his buddy Steve Martinez.
He told a 911 dispatcher one man got aggressive. "One reached in but I happen to have my gun.”
Martinez testified Garcia was mouthy but that’s it. But Crystal Henderson, the passenger in the car that night, saw something different. "They were tuggin’ at the gun, back and forth.”
Crystal says Garcia even put the muzzle of the gun in his mouth and dared Rodriguez to shoot.
"He said, ‘I'm not afraid to die,’" testifued Henderson.
As this trial winds down, it will soon be in the jury’s hands to decide who to believe.