Keisha Anderson, 20, wiped away tears in San Joaquin Superior Court as she talked about the night of Sept. 15, 2010,
when her boyfriend, 20-year-old Prater, was killed.
She testified for the prosecution in the trial of Edgar Canseco, 20, and Emmanuel Mendoza, 20, who are charged with the murder of Prater. Investigators believe a third man, and the possible shooter, 19-year-old James Stancampiano, fled to Mexico after the murder.
Anderson said that she and Prater spent that day together before meeting with a mutual friend, Canseco, later that night. She said Canseco asked to be picked up in Prater’s car at the western end of Sixth Street.
When the couple arrived, Anderson said Canseco “looked all crazy,” as he waited in the roadway. He got into the back seat behind her and asked to be driven to a friend’s house in the area of Palm Circle, she testified.
After a couple of minutes inside the house near Palm Circle, she said, the three drove to a local Save Mart to buy snacks. While in the supermarket’s parking lot, she said Canseco asked them to drive back to the end of Sixth Street, so he could get something from a friend.
When they arrived, Anderson said, Mendoza exited the bushes near the road and got into the seat behind Prater, with Canseco still behind Anderson.
After introductions, she recalled hearing a threatening voice from the driver’s side. She said she turned and saw a gunman at Prater’s door, pointing a rifle at his chest.
“Someone came with a big old gun,” she said. “I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know what to do.”
Anderson was not able to identify the shooter and said she couldn’t see the man’s face, because it was covered. Investigators suspect Stancampiano was the man wielding the rifle.
She said the shooter told Prater, “Gimme all you got.”
Prater then grabbed the gun and turned to Canseco in the backseat and said, “Edgar, this is what you on? Like, this is what you doing?” she told the court.
Once Prater turned to Canseco, Canseco and Mendoza grabbed Prater from the back seat, Anderson said, using her hands to demonstrate a choking motion.
“I knew what was going to happen next,” she said.
She remembered getting halfway out of the car and then hearing the gunshot.
Anderson said she hid in the bushes along Sixth Street and watched the gunman and Canseco run toward the nearby railroad tracks. She said Mendoza fell out of the car as Prater drove from the area. She said she watched as Mendoza ran in the same direction as the other two men.
Anderson said she remained in the bushes and emerged after hearing Prater’s car crash on Sixth Street, just east of Tracy Boulevard.
“I didn’t know he got shot,” she said. “I didn’t know if he was trying to get away.”
She said she walked to the crash scene and told arriving police it was an attempted robbery.
During cross-examination, defense attorneys Jeffrey Hirschfield and Lance Jacot, representing Mendoza and Canseco, both questioned Anderson about her memory of that night.
Both attorneys asked Anderson if the gunman said, “Break yourself,” or “Give me all you got.” Both times, she said she didn’t recall telling police the gunman said, “Break yourself.”
Referring to two different police reports, Hirschfield asked Anderson if her statements to police matched those she made on the witness stand, particularly those involving the gunman and the words Prater used to address Canseco.
Hirschfield said, “You were kind of freaked out? You realize there is a gun and you see this menacing guy — scary. That make it easier to see