Assistant District Attorney Jude Conroy declined to comment yesterday, the first day of jury selection.
Barreto is lucky Mayor Nutter will not be on the jury. Shortly after the slayings, the mayor called Barreto "a dog" and questioned why the teens' parents had allowed them to be out so late on a school night.
Defense lawyer Jack McMahon yesterday took exception to Nutter's remark and with the charges his client is facing.
"He's the mayor, not the district attorney, nor is he a lawyer involved in this case. I thought that was totally unethical for the mayor to do that," McMahon said during a break in jury selection.
He said Barreto opened fire on the car because he feared that he and his family were in danger.
"This is a case of a parent defending his family," McMahon said. "He was protecting his family from these kids - and I use that term loosely in this case because these were people who came to him at 10:30 at night. They were surrounding his house, hiding out in an alley."
The fact that Barreto fired off a barrage of shots so fast "shows that it was just an explosion of fear that he had from these seven individuals," McMahon said.
"He had a reasonable belief that he and his family were in danger of serious injury or death, therefore his actions were in response to that fear. That's justification in the state of Pennsylvania," McMahon reasoned.
Killed were Joshua Soto, 14; Javier Orlandi, 16; and Dante Lugo, 14. They and their friends had been feuding with Barreto's stepson Benjamin Torres for months leading up to the slayings.
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