PORT RICHEY, Fla. — Opening statements began Tuesday morning in the trial of Steven Marin, 28, who is charged with second-degree murder in the 2018 drive-by shooting death of Christian Robinson, 14. 

Assistant State Attorney Samantha Beckman started the proceedings off by laying out for the jury the moments leading up to the fatal shooting of Robinson. Beckman said Robinson was riding in a car with three friends on Feb. 14, 2018, when another car followed them from US-19 onto Ridge Crest Dr. in Port Richey.

“As the car followed, the four boys pulled off in the cul-de-sac towards Adrian’s house, shots rang out. Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! And the car sped off – chaos on Valentines Day of 2018,” Beckaman said.

She told the jury they’d hear testimony that Marin changed his own appearance, as well as his car’s, in the days following the shooting, along with other evidence that will show Marin guilty of the crime.

Marin’s attorney, William Pura, told jurors all the state will be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt is that Marin was in the general vicinity of the shooting at the time it happened because he lives nearby and that his car looks similar to the one involved in the incident.

“Because the state’s case is entirely circumstantial, your job will be something more,” Pura told the jury. “Your job will be to resist the temptation to fill in the blanks of the state’s case.”

First witnesses testify

The first witness to testify was Alexander McCarthy, the driver of the car Robinson was riding in.

McCarthy said he noticed an older model dark Mazda with no hub caps in front of him as he waited to make a U-Turn on US-19 near Ridge Crest Dr.

“He kept looking in the side view mirror, and off his eyebrow something kept on shining off the sun from the mirror. So, in my view, it was an eyebrow piercing,” McCarthy testified.

McCarthy said the Mazda followed them as they turned onto Ridge Crest Drive.

“I made a left into the cul-de-sac, gun shots went off,” he said. “I heard my car getting hit. My back tire went out.”

McCarthy said he ducked, and he assumed the others did, too.

“I hopped out, Josh hopped out, and I heard Adrian crying, saying that Chris was hit,” McCarthy said.

Jurors also heard testimony from neighbors whose surveillance footage captured gun shot sounds and a dark car passing by moments after the shooting, as well as investigators who worked on the case and the medical examiner who performed Robinson’s autopsy.

Marin is charged with second degree murder.