POMONA -- A murder trial began today for a man accused of shooting and killing a romantic rival in the south side of the city.
Louis Wilson could face 50 years to life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder for the Dec. 6, 2008 shooting death of Michael McKee, 30.
A prosecutor told jurors in Pomona Superior Court that Wilson's motive was two-fold when he shot McKee six times in the 2500 block of South Virginia Avenue.
McKee's girlfriend rejected Wilson's repeated sexual advances the day of the killing, and Wilson believed McKee had molested their mutual friend's daughter, said Deputy District Attorney Stacy Okun-Wiese.
In testimony today from seven prosecution witnesses, jurors learned much about the case that links Wilson, 33, to McKee's killing.
The Pomona men argued and left McKee's home shortly before the shooting, McKee's girlfriend testified.
And in the hours after McKee was killed, Wilson reportedly washed himself and his clothes with bleach, then confessed to the killing and asked a woman to help him craft an alibi.
In his opening statement to jurors, Wilson's defense attorney, Steve Urias, said Wilson has been misidentified as McKee's killer and called the prosecution's evidence circumstantial.
The attorney said that of the 31 people on the prosecution's witness list, not one saw the shooting first-hand.
The morning of McKee's killing, Wilson arrived unannounced at the home McKee and his girlfriend shared in the 600 block of South Reservoir Street. McKee wasn't home when Wilson arrived, said the girlfriend, Julie Finneran.
According to Finneran's testimony, Wilson walked into the bathroom while she was showering, pulled back the shower curtain exposing her naked body, and demanded sex.
Finneran, who said she had sex with Wilson once in the past, said she turned Wilson down because one of her roommates was home and she didn't want to cheat on her boyfriend.
"I had a liking toward (Wilson), but it wasn't like we were dating or anything," Finneran said.
By the time Wilson left, Finneran had rejected his sexual advances two more times, the woman testified. Finneran later told McKee about Wilson's sexual advances.
When Wilson returned to McKee and Finneran's home that evening, McKee told him he didn't want him to visit anymore, Finneran testified.
McKee the offered Wilson a ride home even though the Mission Avenue mobile-home park where Wilson lived was within walking distance, Finneran testified.
Shortly before 9 p.m., residents in the 2500 block of South Virginia Avenue heard several gunshots, and a young woman returning home saw McKee slumped over in the driver's seat of his blue Chrysler PT Cruiser, according to testimony Friday.
McKee was shot three times in the head, and once each in the neck, shoulder and back, according to testimony from the medical examiner who performed McKee's autopsy.
All six shots entered the right side of McKee's body, and markings on some of the wounds indicate the shooting was at close range.
The description of the wounds is consistent with the prosecution's theory that McKee's killer was sitting in the passenger seat of McKee's car during the shooting.
In the hours after McKee's killing, Wilson returned to the mobile-home park where he lived and visited a friend's trailer.
A woman who lived in the trailer, Nohemi Sturgulewski, testified that she saw Wilson in the bathroom cleaning himself and his clothes with bleach.
"He was just standing there all wet with bleach," the woman testified. "... He was fully clothed."
Sturgulewski said she offered Wilson a change of clothes, and agreed to go with him when he left to drive to his aunt's house nearby.
As the two drove, Sturgulewski said Wilson told her he had just "crowned" someone -- meaning he shot a person in the head. Wilson also told her the person deserved to be shot because he was a child molester, the woman testified.
Though the two had met for the first time that day, Wilson told Sturgulewski he needed her to be his alibi.
Wilson told the woman to tell police they were together all day, and to say McKee had dropped him off at the mobile-home park in a blue PT Cruiser, the woman testified.
When Sturgulewski was interviewed by police about McKee's death, she initially repeated the story Wilson told her to tell.
But after police told her she could be charged as an accessory if she was lying to protect Wilson, she changed her story and told the truth about his alleged confession, the woman testified.
In his cross-examination of Finneran, Urias asked the woman numerous questions about her past drug use.
Finneran testified that she was high on methamphetamine the day of McKee's death, but went to rehab after the shooting and was now clean.
Urias also asked Finneran whether she and McKee were major meth dealers. Okun-Wiese objected to the question. Judge Robert Martinez sustained the prosecutor's objection and told jurors to disregard Urias' question. ..Source.. by Will Bigham