Trial starts in alleged hate crime case
MIAMI (WSVN) -- The victims of an alleged hate crime took the stand in court and came face-to-face with the man accused of shouting racial slurs at them and trying to run them down with his truck.
Luis Gonzalez is on trial for an alleged hate crime that occurred on Jan. 2, 2012 in Hialeah.
The two victims, friends Andy Alexander and Tarvis James took the stand Wednesday afternoon. The night of the incident, Alexander and James got a flat tire on their way to security school when they came across Gonzalez who allegedly shouted racial slurs at them. "I saw the red lights and the white lights backing up, and I heard the tires," said Alexander.
After the exchange of words, prosecutors said Gonzalez put his truck on reverse and targeted Alexander and James.
According to the report, James fired his gun moments after the incident.
Prosecutor: "When you pulled your gun, were you trying to shoot and kill him?"
James: "Yes, I was."
James: "He was trying to kill me and Andy."
Gonzalez took a bullet to his neck and his truck crashed into a nearby funeral home.
Alexander and James ran from the scene afraid police would not believe their story. Days later, police questioned the pair and found their stories coincided and released them.
Gonzalez was then charged with attempted murder with prejudice.
Gonzalez told Hialeah detectives he was wounded in the back in the Miami Race Riots of 1980. He had a longtime grudge against black people. The Race Riots started following the acquittal of Miami-Dade police officers after they were accused of killing motorcyclist Arthur McDuffie in a high-speed chase.
The defense is arguing Gonzalez is the victim in this case of a would-be robbery.
Closing arguments are set for today. Jurors will go into deliberation Thursday morning.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)