The night Christian Salazar died, his acquaintance, Annastasia Roa, took a phone that wasn’t hers, Roa told a courtroom Wednesday as a witness in the trial of a fatal shooting that happened in 2020.
Roa told the jury she took the phone from a table in the Crave Bar without realizing who it belonged to – suspect Christian J. Robinson.
Robinson’s friend who was with him the evening of Feb. 3, 2020, Shondell von Buttram, told the court he was out with friends at Crave when they met three women first in the parking lot.
Von Buttram said two of the women, identified as witnesses Roa and Marisha Seyler, said they belonged to a gang and then used a racist slur that made Buttram uncomfortable.
“At that point I told Christian (Robinson), ‘Let’s just go inside, these girls just seem ignorant,’ ” von Buttram told the jury.
Von Buttram said he and Robinson talked with the women when they were inside. After they left with Salazar, von Buttram said Robinson noticed he lost his phone. The two used a cellphone tracking app and saw it ping in the parking lot of McDonald’s, 3416 N. Market St.
In that parking lot, von Buttram said Robinson parked in a way “to block them in,” and then got out.
Von Buttram said he opened the driver’s side door where Salazar was sitting and told him, “Give us the phone or you’re going to get a beatdown.” He said Salazar started to frantically reach under his seat, which made von Buttram nervous.
Roa said the men did not give them any time to look for the phone before there was a loud pop and Roa saw her friend Salazar slumped in the front seat.
After the shots, Roa called 911 and requested medical help for Salazar. On the call, which was played to the jury, a person can be heard in the back asking, “Where is my phone?”
Salazar, 21, died of a single gunshot wound to the head, said Sally Aiken, retired Spokane County Medical Examiner.
Salazar’s toxicology report showed “average to low concentration” of methamphetamine, marijuana and trace amounts of morphine, Aiken said. She said none of these contributed to Salazar’s death.
Aiken said she could not determine what the “parent drug” of the morphine was, meaning it could have come from an illegal substance or a morphine pill.
If it was codeine or heroin, she told the court, she likely would have found the chemicals that occur in the body after those drugs metabolize.
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