Five months after a jury was split on whether a career criminal tried to kill a man outside of a downtown Spokane music venue in 2013, prosecutors will soon have another shot at convicting him.
Stafone Fuentes, 33, will be tried for the second time starting Tuesday.
His attorney, Richard Wall, said Fuentes is looking forward to a retrial.
“We’re a little bit better prepared because we’ve seen the case once,” he said. “We’re expecting a not guilty.”
Fuentes is accused of attempting to kill 41-year-old Titus Davis as he sat in a car parked across the street from the Knitting Factory on a cold February night in 2013. Along with a friend, Lamont O’Neal, Davis was shot multiple times after a fight broke out in a parking lot following a Valentine’s Day birthday party.
After undergoing life-saving surgery, Davis told police that he believed Fuentes was the shooter, despite not getting a good look at the man holding the gun. He did, however, see someone running away down an alley, who he said had the same “walk as Sticcs” – Fuentes’ gang name.
He also believed Fuentes had motive – a “beef” between the two over a woman.
“Davis will testify that he believes Sticcs is a dangerous man and has been told that Sticcs would kill anybody that messes with his family,” police wrote in their report.
But without much physical evidence or witnesses who could clearly identify the shooter, the case went cold for many months. Then in June 2013, a confidential informant told police that Fuentes and his wife admitted to shooting at Davis, including how many shots he fired and from what type of gun.
The informant told police Fuentes said he “wished he would have killed Davis” and when describing the shooting, “was even laughing.”
It wasn’t until a federal drug sting in early 2014 involving the manufacture and sale of opiate drugs in a network spanning four states that Fuentes was charged with attempted murder. He eventually pleaded guilty to the federal charges and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Wall said the two instances were inexorably linked. He blasted the state’s case against Fuentes, saying it consisted exclusively of people who have been paid to testify.
“There was a confidential informant paid money, and all the other witnesses who have been given sweet deals in federal cases to testify against him,” Wall said. “Other than that, there’s no physical evidence. Nothing that puts him anywhere close to this thing.”
Fuentes is also a suspect in the 2013 shooting and killing of then-26-year-old Julian Morrison outside the shuttered music venue The Hop. He was charged the day after a judge declared a mistrial in the shooting of Davis and O’Neal.
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