DENVER (CBS4)– Jurors heard closing arguments on Friday afternoon in a gruesome murder trial in which a man allegedly admitted to his friend he killed a teenage girl at his home. They began deliberating the case just after 3 p.m.
Police believe Edward Romero killed Alicia Martinez after a party at his home in 2010. He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
Both the prosecution and defense agree on many elements, including that Martinez, 16, was at Romero’s home that night but that something happened in the garage and he killed her and cut up her body. That’s where the similarities in the cases ends.
The defense claims that Romero doesn’t remember what happened before Martinez was killed because he blacked out. His attorneys believe he is suffering from a trauma disorder called “DID” or “Dissociative Identity Disorder” from abuse he has suffered in his life.
Defense attorneys also claim Romero has been diagnosed with a personality disorder.
They said that once Romero awoke from blacking out he saw that Martinez was dead and decided to conceal it and dismember her body.
The prosecution claims Romero lied and told a friend that Martinez left his home as he arrived. Then after he killed Martinez, his girlfriend came over to the house and he told her what happened.
Francesca Pagliasotti, who was Romero’s girlfriend, is serving a 10-year sentence after being convicted of charges including being an accessory to murder. Prosecutors said she helped clean up the crime scene.
Prosecutors claim that Romero even removed tiles covered in blood from inside his home as part of an effort to conceal the crime. The claim his plan was to “flush Alicia down the toilet piece by piece.”
Romero’s friend, Manny Gonzales, testified during the trial that Romero came into the house just after the murder and told him, “I killed Alicia. She got out of line and I had to kill her.”
Gonzales also testified he was initially ordered to leave the garage where they were all hanging out so Romero could hit on her.
Another woman who prosecutors said took Martinez to the party where the crime happened pleaded guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Jacque Perea said she left the teen at the party after a few hours. She was the first witness called to the stand during the trial.
Romero’s cousin was the one who called police after Romero told him that Alicia was inside a bag in his garage.