The trial of Luis Alberto Toledo continues Tuesday in a Florida courtroom. Court is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. EST.
Prosecutors claim Toledo 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 of 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 killed the children to make sure there weren’t any witnesses, they say. The defense insists the state doesn’t have enough evidence. No bodies were found, and there are no witnesses, they say.
On Monday, jurors continued watching footage of Toledo’s interview with law enforcement. He admitted to killing Suarez, but not the kids. He blamed a neighbor for murdering the children, and hiding the bodies. That man wasn’t charged, however. Investigators booked Toledo.
Volusia County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Kurt Schoeps testified about Toledo’s behavior around the time of the interview.
“I’m never going to tell you where the bodies are,” #luistoledo said, Schoeps testified
— Frank Fernandez (@frankfff) October 23, 2017
Officials say Toledo later tried to commit suicide in a restroom by breaking a mirror and cutting himself with the blades.
— LawNewz Network (@LawNewzNetwork) October 23, 2017
Prosecutors expect to rest their case Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning.
Stay with LawNewz.com and the LawNewz Network for continuing coverage of the trial.