Furious his estranged wife had a new man in her life, Rigoberto Sanchez became obsessed over the relationship, a prosecutor said.
He wanted to know more about whom she was dating. Twice he burglarized her apartment to gather evidence of the relationship, according to the prosecutor.
"He is not moving on or letting go," prosecutor Gina Pearl told the jury Monday during her closing argument in Sanchez's murder trial. "He's driven by his intense anger and jealousy of Sandra moving on."
His emotions continued to build up until, finally, they exploded in violence, according to Pearl.
Knowing police were looking for him in connection with the second burglary, Sanchez packed some belongings, armed himself and went to his wife's northeast Bakersfield apartment the night of May 28, 2017, Pearl told the jury.
He grabbed a cinder block and hurled it through a bedroom window to get a clear view of his wife and Edwin Lima, her lover. Then he sprayed bullets.
Sanchez fired a total of 21 rounds into the room, 17 of which struck Lima. He also shot at but missed his wife as she scrambled on the ground into another room.
Lima, Sanchez and his wife all worked at California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi.
Sanchez, 40, is charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder, among other offenses, in the May 28, 2017, shooting in the 6900 block of Valleyview Drive.
He faces life in prison if convicted of the murder charge.
His lawyer has argued Sanchez acted in self-defense.
Deputy Public Defender Paul Cadman has told the jury Sanchez went to the apartment that night to fight Lima, not to kill him. He confronted the 33-year-old Lima outside. Lima refused to fight and went back inside the apartment, and Sanchez began walking away, the attorney said.
Then Lima yelled a vulgar statement about the stepdaughter of Sanchez through the bedroom window, Cadman said. That's when Sanchez threw the cinder block.
Once the window was smashed, Cadman said, Lima drew a handgun and began raising it at Sanchez. Also armed, Sanchez raised his gun and fired in self-defense, Cadman said.
As Lima was hit and dropped the gun, Sanchez's wife, Sandra Sanchez, picked the weapon up and pointed it at her husband, according to the attorney. Rigoberto Sanchez then fired at her.
After the shooting, Rigoberto Sanchez fled to Mexico, where he stayed with family until his capture three weeks later.
Pearl has called Rigoberto Sanchez's account of what happened "ridiculous," and that to believe him you'd have to also believe everyone else who has testified — police, his wife and others — is lying.
"He's not guilty just because he's a liar," Pearl said. "But he's lying because he is guilty."
Sanchez never once mentioned self-defense in two interviews with Bakersfield police detectives spanning four hours. Pearl told the jury the first thing a reasonable person would expect in a self-defense case is for the shooter to tell police they acted in self-defense.
But Sanchez didn't mention self-defense until trial, and only then because he had no other defense left to him, she said.
Cadman, however, has said a third, unrecorded interview took place between Sanchez and detectives in which Sanchez told them he fired in self-defense. Pearl, and the detectives, say no such interview occurred.
Also, Cadman has said Lima taunted and bullied Rigoberto Sanchez over the affair he was carrying on with his wife. Lima was also married.
Lima bragged about having sex with Sandra Sanchez, and told Rigoberto Sanchez he would send him a video of them engaged in sex acts. He also told Rigoberto Sanchez he planned to have sex with his teenage stepdaughter, the attorney said.
Pearl's closing argument had lasted roughly two hours as of 3 p.m.
The case is expected to be in the jury's hands Tuesday afternoon.