Coast Guard veteran's murder trial underway
By HAVEN ORECCHIO-EGRESITZ | Cape Cod Times, Hyannis, Mass. | Published: August 29, 2017
BARNSTABLE (Tribune News Service) — The selection process got underway Monday for jurors who will decide the fate of Adrian Loya, the Virginia man charged in an elaborately staged attack in Bourne that left a fellow Coast Guard petty officer dead and her wife and a responding police officer seriously injured.
Loya's mental state at the time of the Feb. 5, 2015, shootings is expected to be a focus of almost two weeks of testimony. Defense attorney Drew Segadelli acknowledges Loya carried out the attack that killed 31-year-old Lisa Trubnikova but argues his client's mental illness made him unable to appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions. The prosecutors, Cape and Islands First Assistant District Attorney Brian Glenny and Assistant District Attorney Michael Donovan, have the burden of proving that Loya was sane and is guilty of the 30 charges he faces.
Barnstable Superior Court Judge Gary Nickerson asked potential jurors a series of questions to determine their impartiality, focusing on any prejudice they might have toward the mentally ill, issues they might have with the same-sex marriage between the two female victims, and their exposure to media coverage of the widely publicized case.
Nine jurors were selected by the time the pool of 53 Barnstable County residents was depleted. Nickerson expects three additional jury members, as well as multiple alternate jurors, to be selected Tuesday when a new pool of candidates is questioned.
Opening statements are expected late Tuesday morning, the judge said, and when testimony begins, the prospective witness list includes the two surviving victims.
Loya, 33, has been indicted on a murder charge; 10 counts of possession of a large-capacity feeding device (ammunition magazine); three counts each of armed assault to murder, aggravated assault and battery and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony; two counts each of armed home invasion, armed assault in a dwelling and armed kidnapping with serious bodily injury; and one count each of burglary and assault on an occupant, arson of a motor vehicle, possession of a hoax device and assault and battery on a police officer.
He appeared thinner Monday than at prior court appearances. Since his arrest on the day of the attack he has been held at Bridgewater State Hospital and diagnosed with a mental illness.
Loya forced his way into a condominium on Round House Road in Monument Beach armed with multiple guns and shot the couple living there, killing Lisa Trubnikova and injuring her wife, Petty Officer Anna Trubnikova.
Loya had driven to Cape Cod from his home in Chesapeake, Virginia, a few days before the shootings and checked into the Quality Inn off the Bourne Rotary. He monitored the couple using a recording device he placed in a tree outside their residence. He wrote a 250-page "essay" detailing reasons he wanted to kill Lisa Trubnikova, according to information in a search warrant application.
Loya, a former Coast Guard information technology specialist, had met Lisa when the two were stationed at a Coast Guard base in Kodiak, Alaska. At the time of her death Lisa Trubnikova was stationed at Joint Base Cape Cod and Anna Trubnikova was stationed in Woods Hole.
On the morning of the attack, Loya set his car on fire and set up hoax explosive devices in the secluded Sea Watch Village complex to deter police response before storming his way into the couple's condo and shooting into their bedroom. He had a portable video recorder strapped to his chest at the time, according to the search warrant application.
As police officers surrounded the scene, Loya fired at them, shooting Bourne Officer Jared MacDonald in the back in what law enforcement officials described as an ambush.
Loya eventually surrendered to police and was arraigned later that morning in Falmouth District Court.
Of the four men and five women chosen so far for the jury, four members said they had learned of the case from media coverage but could disregard the reports and focus on the evidence. Three said they had no any prior exposure to the case. One woman on the jury served as an Air Force nurse and is married to a member of the military.
In addition to Anna Trubnikova and MacDonald, Monument Beach neighbors and family members of the victims and Loya are included on the prospective witness list.
On Tuesday, Glenny expects to call responding officers and rescuers to set the scene for the jury, which may travel at the end of the week to the Round House Road condo and surrounding neighborhood to view the scene.
The final week of testimony will include mental health professionals, attorneys determined Monday. Those expert witnesses are expected to offer contradictory testimony about Loya's sanity at the time of the killing.
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