From Murder to Trial - Look Back At The Marmolejo Case
POSTED: Sunday, October 17, 2010 - 10:16pm
UPDATED: Monday, October 18, 2010 - 5:54am
EL PASO - The decision of a mistrial comes more than a year after Gloria Marmolejo was murdered and left the Santa Teresa desert. Here's a look back at the story surrounding the case.
Last July, Gloria Marmolejo was days away from celebrating her 55th birthday when she disappeared. Panic instantly set in with her family.
"It's not her to disappear and not call and let us know. She always reassures everybody that she's ok," Gloria's brother David Huerta said at the time.
Posters were put up in hopes she would be found safe, but just days after going missing Gloria's body was found. We would later come to find out the church-going, and life-loving grandmother was strangled to death, and discarded like a piece of trash in the Santa Teresa desert.
For a month family members were left wondering who would kill their loved one. That's when the case took a disturbing twist. Police named Gloria's son, David Marmolejo, the prime suspect in her murder.
"Our investigators spoke to him early on in the investigation and he gave information early on where he was and he gave information that was inaccurate. We have evidence to show that his version of where he was inaccurate," Officer Chris Mears said at the time.
From the start, David Marmolejo has maintained his innocence, and in October of last year he pleaded not guilty to his own mother's murder. Fast forward to March of this year, that's when Marmolejo's defense attorney tried to get the case heard in courtroom outside of El Paso. He said El Pasoans already convicted David Marmolejo in their minds.
"I do not believe he can get a fair trial. It would be very difficult," Defense Attorney Dolph Quijano said at the time.
The judge eventually denied the change of venue, and the case was set for this month. During the trial several pieces of evidence were shown to the jury, but experts could not find a solid DNA link to Marmolejo. It appears the prosecution may have been relying on cell phone records and testimony from Mariah Wilson, David's step-sister and lover.
In the end, it wasn't enough evidence for the jury to reach a verdict. As you now know, a mistrial was declared. Of course, we'll continue to follow the story and bring you the latest developments.