Wife defends Macias at trial

Defendant Robert Macias, left, reads the transcript of a phone call on Friday with defense attorney James Klipstine Jr., as the conversation is played in court at the Curry County Courthouse. (CNJ Staff Photo: Andy DeLisle)

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

The wife of homicide defendant Robert Macias told jurors Friday her husband was with her at a friend’s house the night Wilfred Salas Jr. died.

District Attorney Matt Chandler challenged her story and the fact she had dodged investigators as the third day of the first-degree homicide trial in the 9th Judicial District in Clovis drew to a close.

Chandler attempted to goad her with the fact her husband had been unfaithful to her — asking if she was going to support him no matter what.

“You obviously love Robert very much,” Chandler said.

“Not really,” Angelina Macias replied.

“You’d do anything for him,” he said.

“Not anything,” she replied.

Called as a prosecution witness, Angelina Macias testified after she, her husband and his friend Daniel Garcia were involved in an altercation at a local bar, the couple parted ways with Garcia and went to a friend’s house for the night. She said her husband of 10 years went straight to sleep when they got there, while she and her friend sat up talking until 4 a.m. or 5 a.m.

She said she avoided police because she was concerned she would be charged with assault for a physical exchange she had with a woman outside the bar that night.

Chandler also asked her about phone conversations from the jail in which Chandler said she and her husband collaborated on their story about that night’s events.

Garcia testified Wednesday he and Robert Macias shot at the vehicle Salas was driving the day he died.

Prosecutors are expected to complete their case Monday. The judge told jurors he anticipates two more days of testimony.

Trial highlights

• Keith Farkas, a Clovis Police detective at the time of the shooting, said investigators found white, half-moon-shaped paint chips matching missing paint around bullet holes on Salas’ vehicle in the street in front of 605 Merriwether Street.

Investigators also located three spent shell casings, (two .38 supers and a .380) in the yard of the home and one unexpended .380 cartridge, he said.

• Kirk Roberts, a former Clovis Police sergeant, testified to mapping the trajectory of the three bullets that struck Salas’ vehicle:

— One was fired at the vehicle as it was passing directly in front of the shooter.

— One was fired from a slight angle to the south as the vehicle passed.

— The third shot, which fatally injured Salas, went through the rear window from behind and to the right.

— All came from the direction of 605 Merriwether Street, a home Macias owns.

• Dr. Jeff Nine, associate medical investigator for the state, testified to performing an autopsy on Salas’ body.

“This kind of damage to the brain and the skull would render someone immediately unconscious,” he said. He testified the shot had to have been fired from a distance of greater than 3 feet away.

• Kevin Streine, a firearms expert from the Department of Public Safety in Santa Fe, testified he determined the recovered .380 casing and unexpended round came from the same gun.

A .38 round recovered from Salas’ vehicle was fired from a different gun, he said.