Jury begins deliberations in Navarro capital murder trial

STEVE NASH steve.nash@brownwoodbulletin.com
Jury begins deliberating in Navarro capital murder trial

A 35th District Court jury began deliberating the guilt or innocence of capital murder defendant Matthew Navarro at 11:45 a.m. Monday.

Defense attorney Evan Pierce-Jones finished his closing argument at 10:20 a.m. Jones argued that Navarro, 24, was never at the crime scene when Ronald Philen was shot to death in December 2009 in the Brownwood home he shared with his brother.

Jones presented a scenario in which Alex Gil, Ephrain Castillo III and Pedro Rocha went to the home intending to rob Ronald Philen of Marijuana, and that it was Gil and Castillo who shot Philen with their handguns.

First Assistant District Attorney Sam Moss completed the state's closing argument at 11:40 a.m., and Ellis sent the jury panel to the deliberation room at 11:45 a.m. Moss argued that Navarro and his three co-defendants "got greedy" and went to the Philen brothers' home early on the morning of December 11, 2009.

They went there with one purpose, Moss said: to rob Ronald Philen of marijuana they believed was stashed there.

Philen died after being shot five times.