TAMPA (FOX 13) - It was a chilling car ride Crystal Henderson said she will never forget. At the time, she was dating Ruben Rodriguez, an Army veteran now standing trial for the shooting death of Enrique Garcia.
Henderson was with Rodriguez the night he shot and killed Garcia with an AR-15 rifle. During the second day of trial, she testified as to what she witnessed that day.
"They were tugging at the gun, back and forth," Henderson recalled from the stand, wiping away tears.
She explained that Rodriguez was upset after he spotted two men running from his shed, and then ordered her to grab his gun.
With his AR-15 in hand, the Rodriguez drove, with Henderson in the passenger seat, until they approached Enrique Garcia and his friend, Steve Martinez, who were walking.
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Henderson testified that Rodriguez asked if the two were in his yard. That's when she say Enrique Garcia became confrontational and aggressive.
"He put the muzzle of the gun in his mouth twice," she explained.
And she says Garcia tried to grab the gun from Rodriguez and dared him to shoot.
"He said he's not afraid to die. Said he wasn't scared and then the gun goes off ," Henderson told the courtroom.
Her story contradicts the other eye witness in the case, Steve Martinez, who never mentioned his friend grabbing the gun, or putting the barrel of the gun in his mouth.
The jury almost didn't get to hear Henderson's testimony after the prosecution accidently broke a judges order, which would have caused a mistrial. The order said the jury was not allowed to know Rodriguez did not have a concealed weapons permit.
But during a 911 call played for the jury, the dispatcher asked about it and Rodriguez says he doesn't have a permit. The tape was supposed to be redacted, so the defense cried foul.
Prosecutor Christine Brown apologized for the mistake.
"I take full responsibility. It was not my intention to break the court's order," said Brown.
The judge and the attorneys cleaned up the mess by instructing the jury to ignore that portion of the 911 call.