POSTED: Thursday, March 17, 2011 - 12:51pm
UPDATED: Sunday, March 20, 2011 - 12:20pm
EL PASO - The criminal case against David Marmolejo is over. He's been sentenced to 54 years for murdering his mother. But don't be surprised if you hear a lot more about this case.
That's because the family of David and Gloria Marmolejo said they plan to take civil action against her.
"We didn't call Mariah Wilson to the stand mostly because I think in the first trial, the focus moved from the defendant to her. I wanted this trial to stay focused on the defendant and the defendant's actions," said District Attorney Jaime Esparza on Wednesday, following Marmolejo's sentencing.
But in the first trial last October, Wilson was the prosecution's star witness. She was granted immunity in exchange for her testimony implicating David Marmolejo as his mother's killer. Wilson claimed she helped Marmolejo dump Gloria's body in the Santa Teresa desert, after he killed her. She also said she helped clean up evidence.
And now the Marmolejo family plans to take civil action against her.
“In all likelihood, it could take up to two or three years," said criminal defense attorney Miguel Cervantes.
He wasn't involved in the Marmolejo case in any way but said pursuing civil action against Wilson may not be worth it.
"You have to go through the entire trial again. You have to bring in the doctors, bring in the witnesses, have a jury present, all the evidence. And expert witnesses are very expensive. It would be a tremendous amount of money and time to the Marmolejo's."
Even if Wilson is found guilty in a civil trial, she won't be sentenced to any jail time. All the family may be able to get from her is money.
"A lot of people do it for the principal of the thing. It's probably just a lot of wasted time and money to sue Wilson at this point."
But for a family still seeking justice for Gloria, time and money just might be worth it.
Cervantes said Wilson could still possibly face criminal charges in New Mexico since Gloria's body was found in Santa Teresa. But he said there's probably not enough evidence to prosecute her.
David Marmolejo was found guilty of his mother's murder on Tuesday.