April 8, 2014

Jury convicts woman in Texas stiletto shoe killing

A Houston woman was convicted of murder Tuesday for fatally stabbing her boyfriend with the 51/2-inch stiletto heel of her size 9 blue suede shoe, hitting him at least 25 times in the face.

A Houston woman was convicted of murder Tuesday for fatally stabbing her boyfriend with the 5 1/2-inch stiletto heel of her size 9 blue suede shoe, hitting him at least 25 times in the face.

Ana Trujillo, 45, used her shoe to kill Alf Stefan Andersson, 59, during an argument at his Houston condominium in June.

Jack Carroll, Trujillo’s attorney, had argued that she was defending herself during an attack by Andersson, a University of Houston professor and researcher.

Trujillo, who was free on bail, was taken into custody after the guilty verdict.

Before she was taken into custody, Trujillo could be overhead speaking in Spanish with some friends, telling them, “I loved him and he was crazy.”

She could be sentenced to life in prison. The jury will begin hearing evidence in the trial’s punishment phase today.

Carroll, Trujillo’s attorney, said he was disappointed with the verdict and Trujillo was “taking it a little hard but she’s pretty tough.”

“I’m hoping that they will be merciful in the punishment,” Carroll said, adding he will be asking for a prison sentence of two years.

Prosecutors declined to comment. During the trial, they portrayed Trujillo, a native of Mexico, as out of control on the night of the slaying.

After a night of drinking, the couple began arguing; during the confrontation, Andersson was injured and fell on his back. Trujillo sat on him, preventing him from getting up, and repeatedly struck him in the face and head with her shoe, they said.

“This is not self-defense. This is a vicious murder,” prosecutor John Jordan told jurors during closing arguments Tuesday.

Jordan reminded them of testimony by two witnesses who said Trujillo attacked them two weeks before Andersson’s death.

James Wells, who had been romantically involved with Trujillo, testified that in an unprovoked attack, Trujillo bit him on his head, pulled skin from his skull and then told him, “You’re a dead man.” Chanda Ellison, who had also been romantically involved with Wells, testified she had to use a stick to fend off an attack by Trujillo in her home.

During witness testimony, prosecutors highlighted that Trujillo did not have any injuries from her confrontation with Andersson, but he had defensive wounds on his hands and wrists. Trujillo’s attorneys argued that she did have injuries.

Defense attorneys told jurors Trujillo did the only thing she could do while being attacked: defend herself.

“What would you do if there was the threat of serious bodily injury … if the threat of death is there? You defend yourself,” Carroll said in closing arguments.

Prosecution witnesses portrayed Andersson, a native of Sweden who became a U.S. citizen, as mild-mannered and quiet.

In a video of Trujillo’s police interrogation that was played at trial, she told detectives that Andersson became enraged after thinking she was going to leave him and attacked her, and that she used the only weapon she had at her disposal – her shoe – to defend herself.

Trujillo told detectives she hit Andersson with her shoe “a couple of times” and didn’t realize she had hurt him until she saw blood on the floor. Trujillo told detectives she tried performing CPR on Andersson.

The blue suede stiletto – a size 9 platform pump with a 5 1/2-inch heel – was brought out during testimony about the bloody crime scene and also during closing arguments.

In video and photos taken by police at the crime scene, the stiletto heel is lying on the carpeted floor of Andersson’s condominium, above his head. A large pool of blood is also near his head, which was bloodied and purple and had several visible wounds.

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