Clifford San Nicolas stands trial for murder - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Clifford San Nicolas stands trial for murder

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It was back in January 2013 Valene Borja and her boyfriend Clifford San Nicolas got into an argument over burnt rice. That's when San Nicolas is accused of pulled out a gun - a .22-caliber rifle and shot her in the neck. The incident left her paralyzed and exactly a year later, she passed away.

San Nicolas stands trial for murder, aggravated murder, family violence, and possession of a firearm without an ID card.

San Nicolas wiped away his tears as he listened to witness testimony Tuesday morning as on the stand as Audrey Hattori, the mother of Borja, who passed away on January 26, 2014, exactly a year after she was shot in the neck by San Nicolas. Hattori sobbed as she remembered her daughter's first words to her from the emergency room after the shooting.

"She kept saying she was sorry," she said.

As prosecutor Brian Gallagher addressed jurors today in opening statements, San Nicolas allegedly didn't like the way Borja was cooking the rice. That's when he pulled out a rife and put a bullet in her neck. San Nicolas then brought Borja to the Dededo Fire Station for help. One of the first responders was Firefighter Thomas Fegurgur, who told the court Borja was in stable but critical condition and said she could not feel or move anything below her shoulders.

According to defense attorney Douglas Moylan, their version of the truth will be starkly different from prosecution's, as San Nicolas will take the stand and evidence will show that he did not try to kill her.

In Moylan's opening statements he told the court his client was addicted to crystal methamphetamine and that he was hallucinating at the time. Despite this, San Nicolas rushed Borja to get help. That's why he took her to the Dededo Fire Station. Borja was hospitalized for months before she was discharged. Even then, she was paralyzed from the neck down and needed 24/7 care. She passed away a year later and charges against San Nicolas were upgraded as a result.

As Borja's mother addressed the court, she stated "surprisingly god gave us that whole year to be with her."

We should note San Nicolas has an extensive criminal history dating back to 2000. Charges ranged from family violence, drug possession, and robbery. At the time of the shooting, he was on parole. Although he was convicted of several charges over the years, his longest sentence was 96 days behind bars and many of his other sentences suspended.

The government will continue presenting its case in chief on Wednesday.

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