A San Diego jury found a man guilty in the shooting death of a Navy sailor trying to do a good deed along Interstate 15, convicting him on all but one charge brought against him.
Edson Acuna shot and killed SW3 Curtis Adams on Oct. 27, 2018, after the sailor and his girlfriend pulled over on I-15 in Mountain View to help who they thought was a stranded driver, the jury found.
Edson Acuna was found guilty of first-degree murder, robbery, burglary, possession of a firearm by a felon, transporting an assault weapon, possession of an assault weapon, being a prohibited person owning or possessing ammunition, and carrying a loaded firearm, according to court documents.
Edson Acuna was found not guilty of shooting at an inhabited vehicle.
The 21-year-old sailor’s girlfriend, Deja Harria, previously testified that his last words were, “I’m going to be a good Samaritan today.”
Roughly two months after the shooting, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office identified four suspects in the incident: Edson Acuna, 25; his brother, Brandon Acuna, 22; Harvey Liberato, 25; and Susana Galvan, 39.
Prosecutors said the four were involved in an attempted robbery minutes before Adams was killed. The group supposedly thought Adams was following them after the break-in, confusing him for the robbery victim.
“He took two steps and I heard a gunshot,” said Harris. “No words were exchanged.”
Brandon Acuna was arrested in October 2018, and Liberato was arrested the following month, police said. Edson Acuna allegedly fled south of the border and was later arrested in Mexico in December 2018.
Brandon Acuna pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury. Liberato pleaded guilty to similar charges that Edson Acuna faced. Galvan pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact, according to the city.
According to Brandon Acuna’s plea agreement, he will be sentenced to 13 years in prison.
Edson Acuna now faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Ed. Note: A previous version of the article incorrectly stated the shooting took place on Interstate 8. The article has been updated, and we regret the error.