AN EIGHTY-year-old man was due to go on trial yesterday, accused of killing his 57-year-old neighbour in a dispute over land.
Police officers were alerted by two young men who had encountered the 80-year-old man, Juan Lopez, known locally as ‘El de Campo’, shotgun in hand around 21.00h last Tuesday evening.
Lopez had asked them to call emergency services because he had just shot his next door neighbour, Manuel Leal Manzanera and thought he may be dead.
When they arrived, the emergency medics were unable to save the life of the victim, who was already lying dead in an orchard on land he owned in Ribera de Molina del Segura.
The assailant willingly gave himself up without providing resistance.
The deceased had inherited a piece of land from his uncle, adjacent to that of his alleged killer around 12 months ago, realising immediately that the land was being used by his neighbour.
An ongoing argument ensued regarding the eighty year old’s continued trespassing, damaging trees and crops and harassing Manzanera with threats and insults, resulting in a denouncement from the new owner late last year.
After another argument on the night in question, police believe, the alleged killer went into his house, picked up his shotgun, before returning to the orchard and shooting his neighbour in the face.
The victim made two chilling calls to his wife before the attack. An initial one explained that Lopez had threatened to kill him and the second one, was to tell her to phone 112 because the assailant was holding a shotgun to his head.
The victim lived in San Javier and had been a member of the town council between 2007 and 2011.