Jurors heard testimony from the mother of murder victim Jenna Hernandez, 16, during day three of the trial of accused killer Lawrence Mireles Thursday.
Mireles is accused of shooting and killing Hernandez one late night in June of 2012, leaving her body at Red Fish Bay in Aransas Pass.
Jennifer Lanier, Hernandez' mother, described the relationship between her daughter and Mireles as starting out good but ending in abuse and violence. She took the stand as a prosecution witness in the murder trial.
Lanier said that, when Hernandez and Mireles first started dating, she saw the young man as being courteous and sweet; but toward the end of the relationship, he became violent.
"Pushing, screaming, foul language," Lanier said. "Called her every name in the book. I did not see him hit my daughter, but I would be in the next room and I'd hear her say, 'Just stop, Lawrence. Stop.'"
Lanier testified that the incident that led to her daughter's death stemmed from an altercation Hernandez had with another teen in which Hernandez used a knife to defend herself. That teen's father then allegedly asked Mireles to kill Hernandez.
Meanwhile, family members of the victim who had been wearing buttons and t-shirts in tribute to Hernandez since the trial began were asked to either remove those items or leave the courtroom.
"It's very upsetting to me because Jenna is not here anymore," said Donna Hernandez, Jenna's aunt. "She doesn't have a voice. We're her voice, and this trial is about her. This trial is about her. She was taken away so young, so brutally."
319th District Court Judge David Stith said that the defense objected to the pictures and buttons as not being admitted into evidence, and possibly influencing the jury. The prosecution agreed.
The prosecution is expected to present more witnesses on Friday. If convicted of murder, Mireles could get up to life in prison.
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