DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – The trial of a North Texas man accused of brutally beating his girlfriend is moving closer to going to the jury.
Jose Arreola, 34, is charged with Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon in the March 2011 attack that prosecutors say left Maria Escamilla near death.
But, defense attorneys today focused on putting the defendant’s accuser on trial.
A defense witness, Ronald Castro, testified that he was Escamilla’s former bodyguard. When defense attorney Michael J. Todd asked what the accuser did for a living, Castro told jurors, “she told narcotics.”
An ex-husband, Ramon Guillen, also took the stand and called the woman he briefly married some 20 years ago dishonest, and “violent.”
Arreola has also testified that Escamilla was violent—claiming that she attacked him with two knives while in a jealous rage.
On Wednesday, he re-enacted the attack with his defense attorney and claimed that Escamilla’s extensive injuries were largely self-inflicted, telling jurors, “I didn’t cause anything intentionally… I was defending myself. The knives were never in my hands.”
Arreola told jurors that Escamilla was injured when she slipped on the bloody floor and “fell on the toilet.”
Last week, Escamilla covered her face with her hands and sobbed as she recounted for jurors the attack that left both of her eyes swollen shut, ribs and facial bones broken, cuts and stab wounds over her entire body and her sexual organs mutilated.
Arreola has denied beating Escamilla and testified that she was the aggressor.
Much of the defense testimony planned for today was never presented to jurors, as Prosecutor Brandie Wade objected to the relevance of some witnesses and whether certain testimony about the accuser was relevant to the charges.
Hearings to determine whether the testimony would be allowed took place out of the presence of the jury.
If convicted, Arreola could face life in prison.
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