State Rests Case In Escoto Newlywed Murder Trial
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South Florida Crime
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The lead detective testified Monday in the case of a man on trial for murdering his bride, just four days after they got married in order to collect a million-dollar life insurance policy.
Michel Escoto is accused of murdering his bride Wendy Trapaga back in 2002.
The state called one witness Monday, Detective Maria Mederos.
Det. Mederos is the homicide investigator who questioned Escoto shortly after his wife was found dead.
She described Escoto’s demeanor as unusual at the time.
“He had no emotion for the victim, he had no love her,” said Mederos. “Normally when you tell somebody that someone they love died, there’s a reaction, you can’t avoid it.”
When asked what she said to him, she replied, “I told him if you can’t muster up a tear for your wife of four days, you won’t muster up a tear for million dollars he’s never gonna see.”
When asked what his reaction was, she mimicked Escoto by crossing her arms and leaning back in her chair.
As Escoto, who is representing himself, cross examined the detective he was met with one objection after another from prosecutors.
Escoto appeared to grow increasingly frustrated, crumpling his notes and hanging his head at times, but his frustration was nothing like his outburst last week.
Escoto was held in contempt of court for threatening attorney Jorge Borron who represents the victim’s family.
The judge sentenced Escoto to 30 days in jail due to the incident.
Last week’s outburst led the judge to express her concerns over courtroom safety.
As a result, the courtroom has been flip flopped so prosecutors could sit closer to the door while he’s sitting more in a corner.
In addition, there are more corrections officers in the courtroom.
Escoto did complain Monday about not being able to see Det. Mederos well during her testimony but the judge said she didn’t want to hear it.
If convicted of first degree murder, Escoto faces life behind bars.