The trial of Luis Alberto Toledo continues Thursday 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 because he allegedly covered 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 argue that Toledo killed Suarez over the affair. They say 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.
On Wednesday, the jury was expected to see police interrogation footage in which Toledo told cops he killed Suarez. Other video showed him asking to go to a restroom. There, he broke a mirror, and tried to cut himself in a suicide attempt. Jurors didn’t get to see almost any of this, however. The defense objected just minutes into the video.
#LuisToledo – The defense is aruging about the transcript/video not being redacted correctly.
— LawNewz Network (@LawNewzNetwork) October 18, 2017
Video showed Toledo calling one of Yessenia’s cousins a lesbian, but his lawyers worried this might get him on the jury’s bad side. Jurors were sent home right before 11 a.m. Both sides continued to review the footage, and argued over what the jury should see.
Jurors are expected to finally see the video on Thursday.
Stay with LawNewz.com and the LawNewz Network for continuing coverage of the trial.