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Jury continues '05 murder trial deliberations.

Byline: Gary V. Murray

WORCESTER - Jury deliberations were scheduled to resume today in the trial of a 26-year-old city man accused of killing another man in a 2005 shootout on Fruit Street.

Angel Santos, formerly of 90 Endicott St., is charged with murder and firearm violations in the shooting July 26, 2005, of 27-year-old Alexis Delacruz.

Testimony in Mr. Santos' trial began Monday in Worcester Superior Court and wrapped up Wednesday. The jury deliberated for about five hours yesterday without reaching a verdict.

Authorities said Mr. Delacruz died after being shot in the head, abdomen and shoulder with a .45-caliber handgun outside 18 Fruit St.

About an hour after the 1:15 a.m. shooting, police learned Mr. Santos was being treated at St. Vincent Hospital for gunshot wounds to his shoulder and thigh. Two .25-caliber shell casings were found at the site of the Fruit Street shooting.

Mr. Santos initially told police he was shot near his auto repair shop on Muskeego Street, but later said he was shot on Fruit Street.

In his closing argument to the jury yesterday, Mr. Santos' lawyer, James G. Reardon Jr. said the evidence showed his client and another man went to an apartment building at 10 Sever St. on the morning of the shooting after a resident there, Evita Pabon, called Mr. Santos for a ride.

Ms. Pabon, who was the mother of Mr. Delacruz's child, had called police shortly after midnight to report she had been assaulted by Mr. Delacruz.

Mr. Reardon said the evidence showed Mr. Santos and his companion, Carlos Villaneuva, were confronted by Mr. Delacruz and other armed men after they left the Sever Street apartment building, which is around the block from Fruit Street, where Mr. Villanueva's car was parked. Mr. Santos told police he "saw flashes and heard gunshots," but did not know who shot him. He denied shooting anyone.

Without conceding to the jury that Mr. Santos shot Mr. Delacruz, Mr. Reardon said any action his client might have taken was in self-defense.

Assistant District Attorney Lawrence J. Murphy did not dispute that Mr. Delacruz shot Mr. Santos, but said the evidence suggested Mr. Delacruz was either on the ground with two bullets in his body, or falling down, when Mr. Santos shot him in the head.

The prosecutor said the evidence showed Mr. Delacruz had a .25-caliber gun when he confronted Mr. Santos, who then went for the .45-caliber handgun in Mr. Villanueva's vehicle, and that the two of them struggled for the larger gun.

"Angel gets the gun," Mr. Murphy told the jury. "The time for talking is over. There's death coming now." He questioned why Mr. Santos didn't tell investigators he acted in self-defense when he was questioned on the morning of the shooting.

ART: PHOTO

CUTLINE: Mr. Santos in 2005 photo

NOTE: 2005 INCIDENT
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Jul 25, 2008
Words:473
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