BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Prosecutor Hunter Starr began his closing argument in a double-murder trial Thursday without saying a word.
Instead, he pressed play on a recording of the 911 call that captured the gunshots fired by Moris Gilmete as he killed his ex-wife and her brother three years ago. The jury has previously listened to the call, in which screams and gunshots are heard until there’s silence with the exception of a dispatcher asking “Hello?”
Louise Abraham, 34, called 911 just before she and and Carlos Abraham, 20, were fatally shot Sept. 23, 2019, at an apartment complex in the 600 block of Union Avenue. The three had been drinking with neighbors and the party had gradually broken up when Gilmete pulled a gun, Starr said.
Louise Abraham had previously suffered from abuse by Gilmete, Starr said. The abuse ended with her death “at the hands of the man who was supposed to love and protect her,” he said. Louise Abraham was shot twice in the head, and her brother was also shot twice.
“This was no accident,” Starr said. “This was premeditated, deliberate and willful murder.”
The prosecutor argued Gilmete’s actions should be punished with convictions on two counts of first-degree murder, as well as recklessly evading police and carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle.
Gary Turnbull, Gilmete’s attorney, said no one in their right mind would claim the killings were an accident. He said Gilmete committed murder but with no deliberation or premeditation and he therefore should be found guilty of the lesser charge of second-degree murder.
His client had been drinking all day and that influenced his actions, Turnbull said.
“He shouldn’t have got drunk,” Turnbull said. “He shouldn’t have had the gun.”
In his rebuttal, Starr said Turnbull’s argument that alcohol was responsible is unreasonable and should be rejected. He said Gilmete told detectives he considered the consequences and fired the gun anyway.
“Guilty as charged, ladies and gentlemen,” Starr said. “You know what to do.”
The jury was taken to a back room to begin deliberating at 2:08 p.m.
Gilmete was arrested after a chase that ended with him crashing a pickup when he drove from Union Avenue onto Highway 178 then the Oswell Street off-ramp, which was closed for construction, according to court documents and testimony.
Interviewed by police, Gilmete said he fired the first shot accidentally but then decided to shoot “everyone” because he was already in as much trouble as he could possibly get in, according to the documents.
One witness reported hearing an argument followed by gunshots and a woman screaming, “No, no!” the documents say. Two more gunshots were heard, and the woman stopped screaming, the witness said.
The trial began Sept. 1.