The attorney representing one of two brothers charged with robbing and shooting an armored car guard told a Pasadena Superior Court jury Wednesday that the Glendale Police Department investigation was at best "extraordinarily sloppy" and at worst a "frame-up."
In closing arguments in the trial of Alfred Anthony Giordano, 26, and Peter Paul Giordano, 31, attorney Robert W. Swanson said the brothers had been victims of "a series of police abuses."
He told jurors that evidence presented during the trial proved that Alfred Giordano was not the man who shot armored car guard Howard White at close range Dec. 31, 1987.
Anticipating that defense, Deputy Dist. Atty. Jo Ann B. Glidden told jurors in her closing argument Tuesday that Swanson's attempts to undermine confidence in Detective Joseph Jiminez, who investigated the case, were "patently ridiculous."
She said Swanson, in accusing Jiminez of having sex with the wife of one of the defendants, was trying to divert attention from his clients' crimes by putting the officer who arrested them on trial.
The Giordano brothers are charged with attempted murder and attempted robbery in the shooting outside Valley Check Cashiers, 6344 San Fernando Road.
Alfred Giordano is accused of shooting the guard five times with a 9-millimeter Uzi semiautomatic carbine. The shooting left the guard, Howard White, paralyzed. Peter Giordano is accused of driving the getaway car.
Donald E. Rich, a court-appointed attorney representing Peter Giordano, argued Wednesday that the prosecution presented no witnesses and little evidence to place his client at the scene of the crime. In closing arguments Tuesday and Wednesday before Judge Terry Smerling, Swanson said the Glendale Police Department investigation that led to the brothers' arrest was poorly conducted and tainted by impropriety.
Pointing to a large chart that he said illustrated the number of police reports Jiminez wrote during his investigation, Swanson said the officer had repeatedly failed to make out reports promptly after conducting interviews with principals in the case.
He asked jurors to discount all of the officer's testimony. "This man doesn't warrant your confidence," he said.
During the trial, Swanson sought to prove that Jiminez had an affair with Kimberly Giordano, wife of Alfred Giordano, and arranged for money to be paid to her to elicit her testimony.
After Kimberly Giordano testified in a pretrial hearing that Jiminez had sex with her during his investigation, an internal police investigation was begun.
Swanson said Jiminez had manipulated and fabricated some of the reports and threatened witnesses. Swanson said Jiminez was either inept, overzealous or misdirected because "a man in lust has no conscience."
Kimberly Giordano is a key witness for the prosecution. She testified that her husband told her after the shooting that he shot an armored car guard. She also testified that she helped Alfred Giordano saw down an Uzi-type weapon in the days before the shooting.
Testifying last week, Jiminez denied having an affair with Kimberly Giordano and denied accusations that he coerced her into implicating her husband.
In her closing statement Tuesday, Glidden argued that the 1987 robbery attempt was a "cold and calculated attempt" at premeditated murder. She told jurors that evidence presented in the trial proved that the brothers had, over several months in late 1987, deliberately and carefully planned the robbery and shooting.
The brothers, she said, found out when and where the Sectran Security Co. truck made its rounds, gathered alibis, researched police radio manuals and plotted to kill witnesses.
Holding up several guns confiscated from the homes of the Giordanos, Glidden said the brothers chose the Uzi because "the plan obviously included not leaving any witnesses. You're going to kill the witnesses."
The only thing that went wrong with the Giordanos' plan is that Howard White lived to identify his assailant, Glidden argued.
The case was expected to go to the jury this morning.
The Giordanos are being held at Los Angeles County Jail. If convicted, they could be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after seven years.