King’s fate rests in jury’s hands

The fate of a Guatemalan man charged with bludgeoning a houseguest to death in 2004 is up to a San Mateo County jury.

Closing arguments on Wednesday in the murder trial of 27-year-old Cesar Agusto King focused on the credibility of witnesses and whether the incident was apremeditated attack or an act of self-defense.

King is charged in the death of 25-year-old Samuel Vasquez, a cousin of one of King’s roommates.

Tuesday, Deputy District Attorney Joseph Cannon asked jurors to find King guilty of first- or second-degree murder. Cannon said that after being beaten by Vasquez hours earlier in a drunken brawl, a revenge-seeking King hit Vasquez in the head with a wooden board.

Cannon cited forensic evidence that suggested Vasquez was lying prone when he was struck.

But Patrick Concannon, King’s public defender, told a much different story. King killed Vasquez in self-defense after Vasquez lunged at him while threatening to “finish him off.”

tbarak@examiner.com

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