A man involved in a 2015 downtown Medford homicide testified Wednesday in Jackson County Circuit Court that Isaac Deleon was shot after taunting Shane Anthony Zornes, the man who pulled a gun on him.
On the second day of Zornes' murder trial, Ruben Escareno Marmolejo testified that Zornes interjected himself into their friend's argument with 27-year-old Deleon and pulled a gun in the early-morning hours of Dec. 13, 2015. Zornes, also known by the nickname Scarface, allegedly fired the fatal shot.
Marmolejo, of Spokane, Washington, faces murder and conspiracy charges in the shooting that led to Deleon's death, but in exchange for his testimony, Marmolejo will plead guilty to a felony count of hindering prosecution next week, according to Deputy District Attorney Zori Cook.
In court Wednesday, Marmolejo said that he, Zornes and friend Daniel Meza had been winding down from a night of drinking and drugs at The Office and The Bohemian Club, when Deleon told Meza they needed to have "a conversation."
Marmolejo testified that the exchange was calm at first, "but then it got a little heated." There were four men with Deleon against Marmolejo, Zornes and Meza.
Zornes interjected himself into the altercation between Meza and Deleon on Bartlett Street and asked whether there was a problem. Marmolejo said that he was distracted by cold, heavy rain and a text exchange.
"I'm not f---in' talking to you," Marmolejo remembers Deleon saying to Zornes. "It's between me and him."
Deleon didn't back down after Zornes pulled a gun from his waistband, Marmolejo said, adding that Deleon took a step forward.
"You're going to pull a gun on me? You're gonna have to f---in' shoot me," Marmolejo recalled Deleon saying seconds before Zornes fired the gun at about 2:15 a.m.
Marmolejo testified that he was "really intoxicated" that night. He, Zornes and Meza had shared a fifth of Crown Royal whiskey and ordered drinks at The Office and the Bohemian Club, and he and Zornes had consumed cocaine, Marmolejo said.
Wearing an untucked, blue-checked dress shirt, Zornes said little in court and showed little emotion throughout the afternoon.
Zornes faces a single murder charge. Previous charges of conspiring to commit murder and solicitation of murder were dismissed Tuesday, court records show. The trial is slated to continue Thursday morning.
— Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.