One of the bystanders who went to Michael G. Ochoa’s aid after he was stabbed told a jury Friday that his accused attacker gave her and another woman an angry look.
Marisela Torres-Cruz, who was continuing her testimony in Anthony Gregory Mallory’s murder trial, said that when she and her daughter-in-law went over to where Ochoa was on the ground, that Mallory looked at the two women.
“He turned and looked at us, and he looked very angry,” Torres-Cruz said when asked by Deputy Yakima County Prosecuting Attorney Sam Chen.
Mallory, 21, is charged with second-degree murder in the Aug. 21, 2018, stabbing of the 55-year-old handyman outside a home in the 1100 block of MacLaren Street.
Torres-Cruz testified last week in Yakima County Superior Court, but was brought back Friday for cross-examination and redirect testimony, when a court interpreter was available.
Torres-Cruz testified that she was standing outside her daughter-in-law’s home across the street from the crime scene when she saw someone strike Ochoa, who went down quickly. She said it happened “in the blink of an eye.”
She and her daughter-in-law went over to assist Ochoa, and while there, she said Mallory looked at them before leaving.
But Ken Therrien, Mallory’s attorney, questioned why Torres-Cruz did not bring up the detail about the look on Mallory’s face when she originally testified, or when she spoke to police.
“I don’t remember the questions they asked me, but that is something that has stayed in my mind,” Torres-Cruz said. “He looked very angry.”
When asked by Chen, Torres-Cruz said she mentioned Mallory’s facial expression when she testified in Mallory’s first trial earlier this year.
That proceeding ended in a mistrial March 9 after Judge Gayle Harthcock found that a juror had visited the crime scene and discussed his or her observations with fellow jurors during deliberations. Harthcock had ordered jurors not to go to the crime scene, conduct their own investigations or consider any evidence that was not brought up in court during the trial.
Jurors also heard from the detectives who investigated the case.
Sgt. Ryan Yates and Detective Kevin Cays told jurors that they went to a Nob Hill Boulevard overpass to took for the knife that Mallory had used in the attack on Ochoa, but found nothing. On Monday, Mallory’s mother testified that her son wanted to hide something by the overpass but she refused to help him.
When Mallory was arrested, police seized three knives from Mallory’s home, Yates testified, but the State Patrol crime lab found no blood traces on any of them.
Witnesses said that when he was stabbed, Ochoa was in the MacLaren Street neighborhood looking for a trailer he had loaned a family that was moving out after being evicted. He was first taken to Astria Regional Medical Center before being transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he died from his injury Aug. 24, the King County Medical Examiner said.
Prosecutors say Mallory attacked Ochoa without provocation, while Therrien says Mallory acted in self-defense after Ochoa reportedly threatened him.
Friday marked the end of the second week of the three-week long trial.