Olmeda...accused of shooting Eddie Rivera.
Olmeda...accused of shooting Eddie Rivera.

An attorney representing a York City man charged for the 2011 homicide of Eddie Rivera said his client acted in self-defense.

Monday was the first day of the trial of Sebastian Enrique Olmeda, 23, of 945 E. Market St., at the York County Judicial Center.

Attorney George Marros said Olmeda was not the person who initiated a confrontation that ended when Rivera was fatally struck by a single bullet fired from a handgun.

"Mr. Eddie Rivera was the initial aggressor," Marros said after the trial recessed for the day. "He had an 8-inch butcher knife and came out the door to attack."

Knife found: York City Police witnesses testified they found a single shell casing about 9 feet from that rear door of 117 Pattison St. the morning of the July 2, 2011, shooting.

Just inside the door, police found a black-handled knife partially under a cabinet on the kitchen floor, a police witness told jurors.

Chief deputy prosecutor Tim Barker pointed out that Rivera, of New York, was shot inside a home through a closed screen door.

York City Police said Rivera was shot in the chest while inside 117 Pattison St. about 2:45 a.m. He was taken to York Hospital but died a short time later, police said.

"This was removed from the victim's heart. It's the jacketing of the bullet," said Detective Kyle Hower, as he held up part of the bullet for jurors to see. "This is the actual slug that was removed from the back area of the victim."

Hower was one of the police witnesses who testified Monday.

Altercation: Shortly before the shooting,

Lydia Rivera-Ortiz, who lives in the home, got into an altercation with a couple of men, a police witness testified.

Olmeda, brandishing a handgun, later went to the back door of the Pattison Street home but was told to leave, police had said.

Instead, he spotted Rivera inside and shot him through the storm door, police allege.

Officers found Rivera on a landing in front of the house when they arrived on the scene. Olmeda was arrested about an hour after the shooting.

The trial was scheduled to resume Tuesday with testimony from an expert witness for the prosecution.

Marros said Dr. Jonathan Arden, a forensic pathologist who conducted the autopsy of Washington, D.C., intern Chandra Levy and identified her skeletal remains, will testify.

-- Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.