The trial of Luis Alberto Toledo continues Wednesday in a Florida courtroom. Prosecutors claim he committed the second-degree murder of his wife Yessenia Suarez, and the first-degree murders of her 8-year-old son Michael Otto, and her 9-year-old daughter Thalia Otto. He is also charged with tampering with physical evidence by covering up the crime. This is a death penalty case.
The bodies were never found, but authorities indicted him based on other evidence. The Lake Mary Police Department said Toledo slapped Yessenia on the face Oct. 22. She told cops they were thinking about ending the relationship, and he was angry over certain text messages on her phone. Toledo wanted to confront one of her co-workers, she said. The next day, based on the prompting on Suarez’s mother, Volusia County sheriff’s deputies did a welfare check on her and her children. They discovered blood at the scene, and believed that it was scrubbed of evidence. A neighbor told them Toledo asked him for help that morning. This witness saw him wipe down Yessenia’s black Honda, and throw away items in a dumpster. Deputies also got in touch with Suarez’s co-worker. The man claimed he was her lover, and said he spoke with her over phone just after midnight on Oct. 23. They believe he was the last person to make contact with her.
Prosecutors say Toledo killed Suarez over the affair. They said Toledo admitted to cops that he “karate-chopped” Yessenia in the neck, causing her death. He then killed the children to make sure there weren’t any witnesses. The defense insists the state doesn’t have enough evidence. No bodies were found, and there are no witnesses, they say.
A DNA expert testified Tuesday that Thalia’s blood was discovered at the scene. The defense also lost an important battle. Jurors on Wednesday are expected to see interview footage in which Toledo told cops he killed Suarez. His attorney Jeff Deen said that no, proof of death didn’t mean there was proof of a crime. Therefore, that evidence wasn’t admissible. The judge disagreed. The jury will see that evidence.
Stay with LawNewz.com and the LawNewz Network for continuing coverage of the trial.