Testimony in the murder trial of Robert Ibarra continued with the prosecution’s third witness, 43-year-old Rodney Galindo, explaining he “didn’t care” for his brother’s friends and acquaintances, including Ibarra.
Ibarra faces a murder charge with special circumstances for allegedly stabbing and killing Elias Silva in October 2004. Robert Galindo took the stand last week and testified about what he witnessed as the crime unfolded around him. He pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter for his involvement.
Rodney revealed he too used crystal meth “once in awhile,” though only with his boyfriend Phillip Alliano in their bedroom at the apartment. Rodney said he didn’t use with his brother or the many people who came to the apartment with his brother.
Phone records showed Rodney called Ibarra’s cell phone at 10:36 p.m. on October 3, 2004 – the night of Silva’s murder – to speak to his brother Robert. Rodney testified that he sensed something was different in Ibarra’s voice while speaking with him. When Ibarra told him Robert and Alliano weren’t home, Rodney immediately became concerned as they never left Ibarra alone in the apartment.
Rodney also said Ibarra acted like “he lived there” and like “he paid the rent.” When speaking of Ibarra, Rodney said he “didn’t care for him one bit.” He added that while he was home, Ibarra and Joshua Miracle – currently on death row following his guilty plea to the murder – would get quiet around him and appeared secretive.
Robert, 47, wrapped up his third day of testimony Friday. Defense Attorney Steve Balash continued to pressure Robert Galindo on how well he remembered each detail of the night in question, and then compared them to his past interviews with detectives in 2004 and before a grand jury in 2005.
Following an image that showed blood splatters, a lighter, and a small blue bindle of meth that were left on Robert’s daybed, his testimony got testy. In response to Balash’s question of where he received the blue bindles used to package meth, the elder Galindo quipped back, “Ask Ibarra. He’s the one who brought them.” Judge Brian Hill then reminded him he must simply answer the questions.
During Senior Deputy District Attorney Kim Smith’s redirect examination, Robert again stated he did not intend for Silva to be killed when he was forced by Ibarra and Miracle to call the victim and convince him to come to the apartment. Robert added he feared his life was in danger at the time, and still fears for his life to this day for his testimony in Miracle’s trial and cooperation in the initial investigation. He said he “received threats in jail.” Miracle has an “ESG,” for Eastside Gangster, tattooed on the back of his head and is believed to be associated with the gang.
Both Robert and Rodney Galindo identified Ibarra in surveillance footage from Home Depot. Ibarra allegedly bought a plastic tarp, duct tape, and rubber gloves on the evening of October 2, 2004.
Both Galindos wrapped up their testimony, but are subject recall.