Gripping testimony was heard Tuesday as a capital murder trial got underway for a former Alice police officer accused of murdering his wife.
Jose Gonzalez, 44, is charged in the shooting death of Leslie Morin. It happened on Dec. 12 of last year, just days after the victim celebrated her 31st birthday.
First on the stand in the trial was the victim's mother, Diana Rodriguez. She broke down as she described the final moments of Morin's life, telling jurors how Gonzalez kicked in the front door of her mobile home on that cold and rainy December morning.
"To this day, I hear stomping, I think he's coming after us," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said it all happened so fast. She remembers grabbing her daughter and taking her to her bedroom. They both tried to hide in a closet from the former Alice police officer.
"As soon as I get to the corner of the closet, I see his hand coming," Rodriguez said. "That's all I could see, and I couldn't hear any more."
In his opening statements, Defense Attorney Mark Woerner told jurors this case is not a capital murder because there was no burglary of a habitation. He also said the incident was sparked by two key pieces of evidence.
"A smart phone and Facebook," Woerner said.
Gonzalez and Morin had been in a 10-year relationship. Woerner said there is proof in those two key items that enraged Gonzalez after he took the victim's phone to be repaired and found messages.
"What would have been going on in the mind," Woerner said. "How could he not conclude that she was having multiple affairs?"
If found guilty of capital murder, Gonzalez would automatically be sentenced to life in prison. The trial continues on Wednesday.
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