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Finger gestures leave teenager dead Neal Putnam | Thu, Jun 10 2010 04:01 PM

A Chula Vista Police detective testified Monday that a 25-year-old Bonita man admitted to him he was the gunman who fired shots into another car which killed a high school student on state Route 54 four years ago.

William Thomas Mace made the admission after he was arrested Nov. 5, 2009, said police detective Robert Conrad during the preliminary hearing.

Mace is charged with killing Jose Antonio Roman, 17, who attended Palomar High School in Chula Vista at the time of the Oct. 12, 2006, incident.

After hearing testimony from two former high school students who were also in the car with Roman, Chula Vista Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sontag ordered Mace to stand trial for murder, two counts of attempted murder, firing a gun into an occupied vehicle, and being a felon in possession of a handgun.

Mace's attorney, Timothy Riley, asked that the attempted murder charges of the other people in the car be dropped, but Sontag said there was sufficient evidence to order Mace to stand trial on all counts.

Mace waived his right to have a speedy trial, and a trial date will be set on Aug. 17.

The incident took place on state Route 54 near the Fourth Avenue exit in Chula Vista.

The driver and a passenger testified that a silver Hyundai pulled near them on the freeway and the occupants "flipped them off" for no apparent reason.

Then a front seat passenger in the Hyundai pulled out a gun and fired at least four times.

"I screamed out 'gun.' As an instinct, I put my head down," said Alan Montano, adding that he heard the window glass breaking.

"I asked Jose if he was OK and he didn't respond," said Montano, who became emotional when he saw a blown up picture of the white Honda Civic he was in that was parked on a freeway shoulder which showed bullet holes on the car.

Montano, now 20, testified he heard laughter coming from the other car shortly before the shooting. He said the front passenger in the Hyundai waved the gun around before he fired the shots and was "kinda smiling, laughing," at the time.

Alex Teymoori testified he was driving and saw passengers in the Hyundai laughing after they made obscene gestures. "My passenger was flipping them off when they were flipping us off," Teymoori said.

"The passenger pulled out a gun. I saw him fire at me," said Teymoori. "I was frightened. I crouched down. I slowed down and they took off."

"I looked back at my friend and he wasn't moving," said Teymoori. "It all happened so fast."

Chula Vista Police Detective Thomas Brown testified he interviewed the Hyundai' s owner, Armando Pelayo, 22, of San Diego, after Pelayo was arrested on Nov. 5, 2009. Brown said Pelayo identified the front passenger as Mace.

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