SAN DIEGO – A reputed gang member accused of trying to carry out a 2010 Mexican Mafia “hit” on a fellow prison inmate testified Wednesday that there was no conspiracy to kill the victim and that he acted alone when the prisoner tried to punch another inmate.
Co-defendants Geronimo Polina, 35, and Lionel Quinteros, 26, are also charged in the attack.
“I did what I did for my own reasons,” Macias told the jury in his closing argument. “There is no hit list.”
Macias is representing himself since he allegedly slashed attorney William Burgener in the cheek in front of the jury as testimony wrapped up last week.
Regarding the attack on Ortiz, Macias said he acted alone and didn’t try to kill the victim.
“All I did was assault Ortiz with a weapon,” Macias told the jury.
Macias said Ortiz lied in court about the incident and wanted revenge against the defendants and to see them be sentenced to life in prison.
Deputy District Attorney Hector Jimenez, in his closing argument, said the defendants conspired to murder Ortiz to end a power struggle for control of the prison.
The prosecutor said Macias was “lying in wait” with a razor while Polina brought the victim to where he was in a prison yard.
“It was a pre-planned, coordinated attack,” Jimenez said. “They were told to do it. They had to do it.”
A prison guard fired numerous rounds to stop the attack, the prosecutor said.
Polina’s attorney, Frank Puglia, said Ortiz had been pushed out of the Mexican Mafia and felt betrayed by the prison gang.
Ortiz was an “angry, vengeful man” who wanted the defendants killed, according to Puglia.
The attorney said there was no evidence that Polina knew what Macias was going to do when he attacked Ortiz.
Puglia said Polina defended himself during a fight.
“That’s all it was,” Puglia told the jury. “Mr. Polina acted in self- defense. He was attacked by Mr. Ortiz.”
Closing arguments are scheduled to conclude Friday.