VICTORVILLE More than three years after the murder of a 27-year-old Hesperia man, his family may soon get to feel a sense of closure.


The prosecution delivered its opening statement and began putting witnesses on the stand Monday morning in the jury trial of Hesperia's Troy Dante Fava, one of four defendants in the shooting death of Adam Atencio.


In March 2008, Fava along with Peter Michael Lewis, Christopher Shane Rivera and Charles Bruce Carr went to confront the other victim, Lucas Buckingham, at his apartment in the 8900 block of E Avenue in Hesperia. Carr testified in Rivera's trial last year that Fava wanted to beat up Buckingham for threatening his family.


Atencio was visiting Buckingham and hanging out in the living room when Fava, Lewis and Rivera suddenly walked into the apartment and into Buckingham's bedroom, Deputy District Attorney Jill Gregory said.


The prosecutor told jurors that what happened next is not all clear.


Buckingham testified last year that he and Fava got into a physical fight in the bedroom. Then they heard a thud, and Fava and Lewis headed to the living room. Buckingham said he heard gunshots, and when he peeked in the living room, he saw Lewis shooting at Atencio.


But according to Carr's testimony, Rivera said he shot Atencio because the victim wouldn't stop shooting.


After the four defendants left the apartment, Buckingham rushed over to Atencio lying on the floor, bleeding from his chest, and watched him die, Buckingham said.


Buckingham, a skinny and pale 25-year-old walking with a cane, took the witness stand again Monday, escorted by several investigators for protection. About 20 supporters from both sides attended Monday's trial, where some of them got reprimanded by a court deputy for expressing emotions.


Cliff Peters, Fava's attorney, reserved his opening statement until later in the trial.


Fava, 27, is charged with the murder of Atencio while the principal is armed with a gun and the burglary and robbery of Buckingham.


Rivera and Lewis have both been convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to 33 years to life in prison.


Carr accepted the prosecution's offer and pleaded guilty to being an accessory under the condition that he would testify in the other defendants' trials. He was released last year after serving two years in custody.


Tomoya Shimura may be reached at (760) 955-5368 or TShimura@VVDailyPress.com. Follow Tomoya on Facebook at facebook.com/ShimuraTomoya.