Defendant’s ex-girlfriend, father take stand

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

The prosecution continued its case Wednesday morning with testimony from five witnesses, including Edward Salas’ former girlfriend and a man who helped hide a gun authorities believe was involved in the shooting of a 10-year-old boy in 2005.

Edward Salas is being tried for the first-degree murder of Carlos Perez.

Eric “Nike” Gutierrez, 24, testified in a Curry County courtroom that Salas’ two brothers and a third man connected to the homicide were at his house the night of the shooting and asked him to get out a scanner so they could listen to police radio traffic.

Gutierrez said he helped them hide their blue-and-white Suburban in his garage. He said Demetrio Salas, who has been convicted in the case, told him they had hidden a gun under a parked car across the street from Gutierrez’ residence.

Gutierrez said the next day he got the gun and hid it in his cousin’s shed.

Later, he led police to the weapon, a .22-caliber revolver, which his cousin had cut into pieces.

Gutierrez, who also testified Edward Salas was not at his house that night, said his charges of tampering with evidence were dismissed in exchange for his testimony.

Salas’ former girlfriend testified Edward Salas came to her apartment the night of the shooting, gave her cold medicine to help her sleep and was gone when she woke up around 5:30 a.m.

Before lunch, prosecutors put Salas’ father, Lolo Isidro Salas, on the stand.

After a sidebar on a defense objection to Lolo Salas being asked about a phone conversation he had Tuesday night with his son, Judge Teddy Hartley dismissed jurors for lunch and said the matter would be taken up again when court resumed.

If convicted, Edward Salas, 23, faces a minimum of life in prison.