EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The man who claims he dumped bags containing Anthony Trejo’s dismembered body parts in the desert testified in court on Wednesday.
It’s part of the trial against Adrian Herrera, one of the 9 people charged in connection to Trejo’s kidnapping and killing.
The first witness who took the stand Wednesday was questioned for his involvement with Herrera in regards to transporting body parts he claims he was initially unaware of.
Michael Jeffrey Aceto testified he was initially arrested and charged with tampering with evidence after he drove Herrera’s truck with bags of dismembered body parts and dumped them in the desert.
Aceto does have immunity in this case. He testified Herrera called him to go help him out which is when he met Herrera at a warehouse and picked up a blue truck.
Aceta said it was Herrera’s truck, and that Herrera told him to get rid of black plastic bags that were inside the truck. Aceto claimed he then drove the truck to the desert to dump the bags and afterwards stopped by a Circle K where he was approached by police.
Aceto said he returned back to the desert with officers and when they asked him what was inside the bags, Aceto responded it might’ve been puppies.
The defense called Aceto a convicted felon, thief, and liar.
Aceto testified when he drove the truck, he didn’t know there was a corpse. He also testified he only helped Herrera because, “at the time he scared the s*** out of me.”
A few more of the witnesses who were called by the state included more detectives, a special agent, and a detention officer.
The state called Charles Harmon, a Digital Forensics Examiner with EPPD, and showed the jury evidence including extracted data from Herrera’s SD card off his cell phone which Harmon labeled as “deleted files”.
Some of those files were pictures including a graphic photo of a victim beaten, bloody, and lying in a bathtub. When the state asked Harmon if he was initially aware of who the victim was, he said he did not know.
Edward Mendoza, a detention officer at the Downtown Jail Annex, was another witness called by the state.
Mendoza said when Herrera was an inmate back in June of 2018, Herrera threw a cup of liquid the officer and his trustee gave him. He was then separated out of his cell.
The officer said he asked Herrera why he did that and Herrera responded that the officers trustee was “snitching on him.”
The jury expects to hear from 3 more witnesses called by the state to testify on Thursday.
Trial will reconvene at 8:30 a.m.