When the jury summons arrived in the mail, Dave would see it as an opportunity to go to the Ventura County Hall of Justice, sit somewhere on the courthouse grounds and read a good book.
Then, Dave, who asked that his real name not be used, was selected to serve on a murder trial involving three defendants, Brian Starks, Corey Lamar Johnson, and Terrance "Terry" Morrow.
The three were accused of killing 49-year-old Michael Wade, of Northern California and wounding Kenneth Pecaro, a San Bernardino parolee, during a drug deal gone bad on Nov. 9, 2009.
This trial's cast of seedy characters included parolees, former and current prison inmates, big-time drug dealers and small time pushers. And attorneys who called the other side's witnesses liars.
One side was armed with a rifle and two guns; the other side had no weapons, according to the prosecution. The shooting took place 75 yards from an elementary school. Wade died in an alley in the 1400 block of South E Street in Oxnard. Starks shot him twice in the back with hollow-point bullets, ammunition that is designed to cause a lot of damage to the human body.
The trial started on April 9.
During opening statements, the prosecutor told jurors that the defendants were going to rob Wade and Pecaro. Defense lawyers said it was simply a drug deal gone bad, and there was no money. Therefore, it couldn't have been a robbery.
The first week of May, jurors began deliberations after all the testimony and evidence -- including DNA and a video of a convenience store parking lot where Starks met with the victims on the day of the shooting -- ended.
It got more serious for Dave.
Fellow jurors picked him as jury foreman whose job it was to keep the deliberations going, help sort through all the pieces of evidence including crime scene photographs and allow the smooth and steady recollection of testimony by jurors.
There were countless hours and thousands of words said on the witness stand.
But first, Dave said jurors had to wade through 80-pages of jury instructions that had been read by Judge Charles Campbell. That was done before the prosecutor and defense attorneys could present hours of closing arguments.
He recalled going into the jury room, jurors finally selecting him as the foreman, and then having to wait to get copies of the jury instructions.
"They were still working on them," he said.
Dave, however, said this short waiting time was well spent by jurors sorting out some of the evidence.
Dave said he was very impressed Judge Campbell, saying that he was fair to both sides.
"I was very impressed by him and the bailiffs," he said. "It was a good courtroom experience."
Dave said the most compelling evidence was not one thing but was how the prosecutor Maeve Fox and the investigators linked all the evidence together.
What sticks out in his mind was the 20-minute audio recording of Wade who had been fatally wounded and was played at the start of the trial. In the background of the recording, a dog barked almost incessantly and a police officer asked the dying Wade questions and gave commands and encouraged him to keep breathing.
"That was kind of eerie because we already knew that he had died and to hear him suffering," said Dave.
The Oxnard police officer who arrived at the crime scene and is heard asking the mortally wounded Wade questions, left an impression on Dave. The officer was "calm and focus" while trying to keep Wade alive amid the chaos, Dave said.
The autopsy photographs that often tend to linger in the minds of people who serve on juries involving homicides didn't have much of an impact on Dave. He said the autopsy photographs weren't graphic.
On May 4 and after four days of deliberating, jurors said they had verdicts on some of the felony counts and were deadlocked on others.
Starks was the only defendant found guilty of murder with great bodily injury. Starks also had a gun during the murder and was a felon in possession of a gun, jurors said.
The jurors were deadlocked on the conspiracy charge against Johnson and Morrow, and therefore, they couldn't convict the defendants of murder during the commission of a robbery.
Morrow was found guilty of assault with a firearm because he wounded Pecaro in the hand; Jurors deadlocked on the murder and other felony charges against Johnson.
Dave said he no longer sees a jury summons the same way,a ticket to go sit on courthouse grounds and read a good book.
"I think a lot of people don't want to do jury duty," he said. "Now that I have been involved I have a great appreciation for the process. I have no hesitation in doing it again.
And yeah, Dave emphasized that this was a very serious case. But that's what jurors promised to do when they raised their hands to sit in a case where another human being lost his life, he said.
"We took it seriously, very seriously. We swore that we would do that, and so we had a job to do," Dave said.