Opening statements and witness testimony were heard Wednesday in the
trial of Vanesa Gastellu, 31, who is charged with murder in the shooting death
of 23-year-old Christina Garcia.

The victim’s body was discovered on the morning of Aug. 5, 2020 in a
field near the 3100 block of Main Street.

Deputy District Attorney Christopher Rhoads told jurors that Gastellu
and others took Garcia to that field because they believed Garcia had
”snitched” to law enforcement, leading to the shooting death of their fellow
gang member and Gastellu’s on-again, off-again boyfriend, David Angulo.

Angulo, 33, was shot and killed by Chula Vista police on July 20, 2020
following a car chase in a stolen truck. Prosecutors said Angulo, who was a
wanted suspect in three shootings, eventually ditched the stolen pickup and
unsuccessfully tried to barge into a residence. He then pointed a gun at
officers who cornered him and was shot and killed, the San Diego County
District Attorney’s Office said.

Rhoads said that just prior to the fatal shooting, Garcia was with
Angulo in an SUV, which was being tracked by police. At some point, Angulo ran
from the SUV and carjacked the driver of a pickup truck, leading to the police
pursuit and fatal shooting.

Rhoads said Angulo’s death devastated Gastellu, who later allegedly
told a friend ”I got word that Christina was with him” and ”I’m going to get
to the bottom of this because someone snitched on him.”

One night before Garcia’s death, she messaged her mother about threats
she’d been receiving in connection with Angulo’s death. She told her mother
she was going to confront the people threatening her, the prosecutor said.

Her body was found the following morning with three gunshot wounds.

Rhoads said that after the shooting, Gastellu told several others that
she was the killer, including allegedly telling one person ”(Angulo) was
my man, so I dumped on her and I dumped her body.”

He also alleged Gastellu deleted location data on her phone and her
Facebook account less than a day after the shooting.

Gastellu’s defense attorney, Christine Basic, told jurors Garcia was
killed by gang members who Gastellu ”thought were her friends” and those same
people threatened Gastellu’s life in that field.

Basic said Garcia’s killers ”left her to take the blame” and spread
rumors that she was involved.

According to the attorney, a number of people who claimed Gastellu
confessed to them had reasons to lie to police. Additionally, no physical
evidence such as DNA could tie Gastellu to the murder, Basic said.

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