The defense began its case in the first degree murder trial of Hector Zambrano Wednesday, who's accused of murdering his wife Patricia Reyes in 2004.
The defendant, Hector Zambrano, was the first witness for the defense
and his testimony lasted for nearly eight hours.
Speaking through a Spanish to English interpreter, Zambrano spoke softly but with emotion as he recounted the events leading up to the strangulation death of Patricia Reyes.
The day before the murder Zambrano was arrested on a DUI offense
and continued to drink after getting out of jail . That day, according to Zambrano, he consumed more than 25 drinks within a 24-hour period.
Zambrano testified the night of the murder, while at the defendant's apartment, the couple was affectionate for a short period and then Reyes told him she was going back to Mexico with her family and had also been seeing another man.
Zambrano says the two began physically fighting, wound up on the floor and blinded by jealousy and rage, he placed his hand on her neck and began choking her. Zambrano added he did not realize Reyes was dead, but thought she simply passed out.
The prosecution refuted the sworn testimony of Zambrano, saying his statements were inconsistent with the sworn testimony of other witnesses. Zambrano also admitted telling a co–worker he was going to kill Reyes, but claimed he was not being serious when he said it.
Although Zambrano was the only witness of the day, the prosecution did not finish with its cross examination and the defendant will be back on the stand first thing Thursday morning.