San Diego

Girlfriend of Good Samaritan Sailor Shot Dead Testifies

New details have emerged in the case of a U.S. Navy sailor who was gunned down on the shoulder of Interstate 15 after he pulled over to help who he believed was a stranded motorist.

Curtis Adams, 21, pulled over on the freeway at around 2:20 a.m. on Oct. 27 after he saw another car stopped on the northbound shoulder. As he approached the car, he was shot dead.

Adams’ girlfriend Deja Harris, 21, testified Tuesday and recounted how quickly Adams was gunned down.

She said the couple was on their way to Adams’ home in Coronado when they saw a white car with its hazard lights on. There was a man outside of the vehicle on the driver's side.

Harris remembered one of Adams’ last remarks before he exited his car.

"’I’m going to be a good Samaritan today,’ and he pulled over,” she said. "He took two steps and I heard a gunshot."

A defense attorney asked Harris if she heard anything else other than a gunshot, to which she replied, “No words were exchanged.”

Harris said she climbed over to the driver’s seat and saw Adams lying on the ground. He died later at the hospital.

Prosecutors say Edson Acuna, 24, is the man who pulled the trigger. Harris identified him Tuesday as the man who was standing outside of the car when she and Adams pulled over.

Acuna reportedly fled to Mexico after the shooting and was arrested by Mexican authorities in December. His brother, 21-year-old Brandon Acuna, was arrested hours after the shooting when a CHP officer spotted his vehicle and contacted SDPD.

Both brothers, as well as 24-year-old Harvey Liberato who was arrested in connection with the shooting in November, are facing murder charges to which they have pleaded not guilty.

The Acunas and Liberato were in court Wednesday as a judge tried to determine if there was enough evidence for the case to go to trial.

Susana Galvan, 38, was also in the car during the shooting and faces a charge of accessory after the fact. She changed her not guilty plea to guilty Tuesday.

SDPD said Brandon Acuna was also involved in another shooting 10 minutes before his brother allegedly shot Adams. That shooting took place near the 600 block of Boundary Street in Mount Hope.

According to police, he allegedly shot at a man who interrupted his attempt to break into the man's car.

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