DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A jury in Dallas on Wednesday sentenced Jose Arreola to 28 years in prison and a $5,000 fine for brutally attacking his girlfriend in March 2011. Arreola was found guilty on Monday and jurors began deciding his punishment on Tuesday afternoon. The 34-year-old had no reaction as the decision was read in court.
Character witnesses took the stand on Tuesday to plead for Arreola to get a second chance. A pastor called him a “good person” while his sister said that he was a caretaker who helped her get through college. Auto shop employee Wayne Robinson described Arreola as a “pillar of the community.” But he was left squirming when asked if good guys would beat, stab, rape and mutilate women.
Prosecutor Brandie Wade had asked for the maximum sentence of life in prison, saying that jurors should “send a message to every victim of family violence, to every woman hiding in a shelter, to every Jose Arreola wannabe and batterer” in Dallas County. “We do not… allow people who commit acts of savagery, torture and mutilation to walk our streets,” Wade said.
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The prosecution’s tough stance came as a response to the defense’s request for probation. Arreola has no prior felony convictions. Defense attorney Michael J. Todd told jurors that Arreola had no history of violence until he became involved with the victim, Maria Escamilla. “What they want you to do is look at a snapshot of their relationship,” Todd said. “We’re asking you to look at the movie.”
Prosecutors called the attack ‘the worst ever seen’ in domestic violence cases. Escamilla arrived at the hospital having lost nearly 40 percent of her blood supply and requiring more than 500 stitches. Her eyes were swollen shut. Her ribs were broken along with bones in her face. Her breasts and face had been slashed and her sexual organs were mutilated. Escamilla did survive the attack, however, and spoke to CBS 11 News about the ordeal before Arreola’s trial.
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