UPDATED: Marmolejo Found Guilty of Killing His Mother - Albuquerque Journal

UPDATED: Marmolejo Found Guilty of Killing His Mother

The El Paso man was accused of strangling his mother and dumping her body in the desert in N.M.

An El Paso man accused of killing his mother in 2009 and dumping her body in the desert in New Mexico was found guilty Tuesday in San Antonio, Texas, at his second murder trial, according to the El Paso Times.

David Marmolejo, 31, was convicted of strangling his mother, 54-year-old Gloria Huerta Marmolejo, on July 25, 2009, at her home in El Paso and then dumping her body in the desert in Santa Teresa, N.M. The body was discovered six days later by a walker, the newspaper reported.

The Times said the jury returned its verdict in the case after about three hours of deliberations.

The sentencing phase of the trial began Tuesday afternoon, according to the newspaper.

The Times said Marmolejo’s first trial, in October in El Paso, ended in a mistrial after jurors deadlocked on a verdict.

 

 


 

Tuesday, 08 March 2011 08:40 — Jury seated in San Antonio, Texas, for El Paso man whose first trial last year ended in hung jury.

 

Seven men and seven women — 12 jurors and two alternates — were seated Monday in San Antonio, Texas, for the second murder trial of David Marmolejo, the 31-year-old El Paso man accused of killing his mother in July 2009, the El Paso Times reported.

Marmolejo is accused of strangling his mother, Gloria Huerta Marmolejo in her home on El Paso’s east side on July 25, 2009, then dumping her body in the desert in Santa Teresa, N.M., where the body was found six days later by a woman walking her dog, the Times said.

Marmolejo’s first trial last October ended in a mistrial after jurors deadlocked on a verdict, the paper reported.

District Judge Gonzalo Garcia told jurors to plan on working late for the duration of the trial, which is expected to last two weeks in San Antonio, where the trial was moved on a change of venue because of extensive media attention in El Paso, the Times said.

Opening statements were expected this morning, according to the Times.

 

 


 

5:55am 10/22/10 — Marmolejo Retrial Could Come in January: Two-week trial of El Paso man accused of strangling mother ended with hung jury.

 

David Marmolejo, whose trial for strangling his mother in July 2009 and dumping her body in the New Mexico desert ended last Sunday with a hung jury, could be retried as soon as January, the El Paso Times reported.

Judge Gonzalo Garcia at a hearing on Thursday initially suggested an April 8, 2011 date for a new trial, but both prosecutors and defense attorney Greg Anderson suggested the retrial take place earlier in the new year, the Times said.

Garcia also said Thursday he might reconsider a previous defense motion to move Marmolejo’s trial out of El Paso because of extensive media coverage surrounding Gloria Marmolejo’s disappearance and death, the paper reported.

 

 


 

5:45am 10/18/10 — Jury Hangs in Marmolejo Murder Trial: El Paso man accused of strangling mother, dumping body in N.M., remains jailed.

 

A Texas judge on Sunday declared a mistrial in the murder trial of David Marmolejo, who is accused of killing his mother and dumping her body in the southern New Mexico desert, after jurors said they were unable to reach a verdict, the El Paso Times reported.

The jury of seven women and five men first indicated they were unable to come to a decision at 1 p.m. Sunday, but District Judge Gonzalo Garcia asked jurors to take a lunch break and try again, the Times said.

After the break, jurors deliberated for nearly two hours before telling the judge they were hopelessly deadlocked, the paper reported.

The case had gone to the jury Friday afternoon, the Times said.

Jurors declined to talk to the media after they were dismissed, according to the Times.

Marmolejo will remain jailed and face a new trial, the paper reported.

 

 


 

5:10pm 10/14/10 — Prosecution, Defense Rest Cases in Marmolejo Murder Trial: Marmolejo is on trial in El Paso for allegedly killing his mother and dumping her body in New Mexico.

 

The prosecution and defense have rested their cases in the El Paso murder trial of David Marmolejo, the El Paso Times reported Thursday.

Marmolejo is accused of killing his mother, Gloria Huerta Marmolejo, in 2009 and dumping her body in the desert of southern New Mexico.

 

 


 

Thursday, 14 October 2010 05:45

 

Murder suspect David Marmolejo admitted to his girlfriend that he killed his mother on July 25, 2009, the woman testified Wednesday in an El Paso courtroom, the El Paso Times reported.

Mariah Wilson, 20, the suspect’s stepsister who became involved with him sexually when she was 14, also testified that she helped Marmolejo clean up the murder scene and went with him to the Santa Teresa desert in New Mexico where he dumped his mother’s body, the Times said.

Testifying under a grant of immunity, Wilson told jurors she met Marmolejo when she was 13 years old, and that their relationship turned sexual on July 5, 2005, when she was 14 and he was 25, the paper reported.

The relationship was kept secret because Marmolejo was married at the time, she testified.

Wilson told jurors she became pregnant with Marmolejo’s child when she was a freshman in high school and gave the baby, a boy, up for adoption, the Times said.

Marmolejo is on trial for the strangulation death of his mother, 54-year-old Gloria Huerta Marmolejo, whose body was found July 31, 2009, in the desert behind a New Mexico elementary school, according to earlier reports.

See the whole Times report for Wilson’s testimony on what she said occurred on the night of Gloria Marmolejo’s death and its aftermath.

 

 


 

6:25am 10/5/10 — Trial Under Way for El Paso Man Accused of Killing Mother: Woman’s partially mummified body was found in New Mexico desert July 31, 2009.

 

The murder trial of David Marmolejo, the El Paso man accused of killing his mother on July 25, 2009, got under way Monday, the El Paso Times reported.

Defense attorney Greg Anderson said in an opening statement Monday that his client is innocent and overzealous police didn’t bother looking for other suspects in the slaying, the Times said.

El Paso County District Attorney Jaime Esparza, who is personally prosecuting the case, told jurors in opening that Marmolejo lied about the events of the day his mother, Gloria Huerta Marmolejo, was killed, the paper reported.

Police have said they believed Marmolejo killed his mother when she discovered Marmolejo had been having a sexual relationship with his stepsister, Mariah Wilson, according to the Times.

Gloria Marmolejo’s body was found in the Santa Teresa desert off a dirt road near the Pete Domenici Highway on July 31, 2009, six days after she was last seen alive in El Paso, the Times said.

As Esparaza showed jurors photos of Gloria Marmolejo’s body, David Marmolejo looked away and silently wept, the Times said.

A medical examiner testified Monday that the body had been partially mummified and blackened due to the desert heat, and he estimated the woman had been dead for at least four days, the paper reported.

Dr. Juan Contin, El Paso County’s interim chief medical examiner, testified that he found a 5-inch ligature mark across Gloria Marmolejo’s throat and that her larynx had been damaged, saying a thin rope or cord could have been used to kill her, the Times said.

 

 


 

6:45am 9/23/09 — Bond Cut in Half for El Paso Murder Suspect: Man accused of killing mother a suspect in many crimes but never convicted.

 

David Marmolejo, the 29-year-old El Paso man accused of murdering his mother, Gloria Huerta Marmolejo, 54, remained jailed Tuesday, but a magistrate judge sharply reduced his bond from $1 million to $500,000 — despite prosecutors’ claims that Marmolejo has been linked to a series of attacks on women in Arizona, the El Paso Times reported.

Nine women, all prostitutes, died before Marmolejo could be prosecuted in connection with their abductions and rapes, and Assistant District Attorney Jennifer VandenBosch could not tell the judge how the women died or whether they had been murdered, the Times said.

Magistrate Judge James Carter cut Marmolejo’s bond in half, saying the suspect, who has been jailed since his arrest on Sept. 4, had never been convicted of serious crimes, according to the paper.

Marmolejo was never convicted of kidnapping, rape or robbery in Phoenix, and no court hearings ever were held in connection with the nine crime victims who died, a spokesman for the Maricopa County (Ariz.) District Attorney’s Office told the Times.

But Marmolejo had been arrested by Phoenix police in 2006 on nine counts of sexual assault, four counts of kidnapping and four counts of armed robbery with a deadly weapon, but was never prosecuted because the victims had died, the Times said.

Phoenix police also questioned Marmolejo in connection with that city’s infamous Baseline murders, but cleared him, and another man, Mark Goudeau, is a suspect in the nine Baseline killings, the paper reported.

VandenBosch also told the judge that Marmolejo was being investigated for claims of domestic violence by an ex-wife and ex-girlfriend in El Paso and in Hawaii, where he lived from 2006 to 2008, and is a suspect in two Las Vegas, Nev., shootings, but was never arrested in those cases, the Times said.

Marmolejo’s attorney Greg Anderson said his client had never been convicted of anything that the prosecutor alleged and in El Paso has only two misdemeanor convictions — one for unlawful carrying of a weapon and one for theft by check, the paper reported.

VandenBosch said that after each of Marmolejo’s 17 arrests in Arizona, an uncle had bonded him out and has the resources to post a six- or seven-figure bond for his nephew, according to the Times.

 

 


 

6:00am 9/10/09 — Man Charged With Helping Accused Killer: El Paso man allegedly hindered police in arresting suspect in mother’s slaying.

 

Michael Edward Thompson, 40, was arrested last week for allegedly helping a man accused of killing his mother evade arrest, police told the El Paso Times on Wednesday.

Thompson was charged with hindering apprehension for allegedly helping David Marmolejo, the 29-year-old El Paso man charged in the strangulation death of his mother, Gloria Marmolejo, 54, the Times said.

David Marmolejo, who turned himself in last Friday, was being held on a $1 million bond, the paper reported.

Thompson allegedly helped Marmolejo get away on Sept. 3 when police were looking for him in connection with his mother’s disappearance and murder in July, the Times said.

“He had David in his car and we believe he knew David was wanted. (Thompson) saw unmarked units and eluded them so David could get away,” El Paso police spokesman Chris Mears told the Times.

Thompson was released on a $2,500 bond.

 

 


 

8:20am 9/9/09 — Police: Cell Phone Records Contradict Slaying Suspect: Message sent just 12 miles from where El Paso woman’s body was found in N.M.

 

David Marmolejo, the 29-year-old El Paso man who turned himself in to police last week after being charged with the murder of his mother, 54-year-old Gloria Marmolejo, sent a chilling text message to his girlfriend on the night his mother disappeared, the El Paso Times reported.

Gloria Marmolejo vanished on July 25, and six days later her strangled body was found six days later behind a Santa Teresa elementary school in southern New Mexico, the Times said.

A five-week police investigation culminated last week in the arrest of David Marmolejo, who remains in the El Paso County Jail on a $1 million bond, according to the paper.

Police say Gloria Marmolejo, who returned to her El Paso home on July 25 from a visit to Phoenix, clashed with her son who was living in her house with his girlfriend, who is also his stepsister, the Times said.

In an arrest-warrant affidavit, Detective Jose Ochoa said cell phone records contradict David Marmolejo’s claim that his mother was unharmed when he last saw her, the paper reported.

According to those records, Gloria Marmolejo called her son at 5:14 p.m. on July 25 to tell to come to their home on Sonoma Drive to unlock the master bedroom, and while he didn’t answer that call, he called his mother back a few minutes later and they talked, the Times said.

Gloria Marmolejo called her son back at 5:40 p.m., suggesting to police that he hadn’t arrived at the house, even though David Marmolejo told police that by the time he’d gotten the second call he’d already helped his mother unpack and had left the house, according to the Times.

“Records show not only is he arriving to the victim’s residence on Sonoma at 5:40 p.m. but he remains there for approximately another hour and a half,” the affidavit stated.

Police allege that Gloria Marmolejo died around 6 p.m., the Times said.

David Marmolejo also told police that he left the home around 5:40 p.m. and didn’t return until 10 p.m. when he and his girlfriend went to sleep, and that they didn’t awake until 10 a.m. July 26 and that his mother was asleep in another room at the time, according to the Times.

But, according to investigators, while he was supposedly asleep, his cell phone was used for calls at 1:37 a.m. and at 4:52 a.m. on July 26, and that the 1:37 a.m. call was transmitted from a tower near Anthony, Texas, 12 miles from where Gloria Marmolejo’s body was discovered, the paper reported.

The girlfriend, Mariah Wilson, allegedly told police that she was not home asleep with David Marmolejo and he had asked her to lie about how long he was gone on July 25, the Times said.

“She stated he was gone for 2-3 hours,” the affidavit said. “She also revealed that she texted the defendant … and asked what was taking him so long.”

According to the affidavit, “The defendant replied, via text, ‘Taking care of stuff, doing what I had to do.'”

 


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