Mother of two slain children testifies in Perez trial Thursday
By By Ian Duncan and The Baltimore Sun
Mar 14, 2013 | 8:03 PM
The mother of two children who had their throats slashed nine years ago took the stand Thursday in the murder trial of Policarpio Espinoza Perez and described how her husband's elder brother took a romantic interest in her niece.
Prosecutors have argued that friction among members of her extended family ultimately led to the 2004 murders of her children and one other young boy.
During this week's trial — the third for Espinoza Perez — witnesses have faced questions from both sides about romantic tensions surrounding Noemi "Mimi" Quezada's niece. Prosecutors have not laid out how they believe Policarpio Espinoza Perez was connected.
"I want to know the truth for the sake of my children," Quezada, whose husband is Espinoza Perez's brother, told the court Thursday through an interpreter.
Quezada said another of her husband's brothers, Victor Espinoza Perez, began coming over to her apartment much more often after her niece, Maria Andrea Espejo Quezada, moved in in early in 2004.
"He would stare at her," said Quezada. "When he would come when my niece was there, he would show up very well-bathed with perfume on."
Prosecutors highlighted in opening statements that Espejo Quezada's arrival in the United States, just months before the murders, had caused rifts in the large family, to which she was connected by marriage.
Assistant State's Attorney Cynthia M. Banks said Tuesday that Espejo Quezada had spurned both Victor Espinoza Perez and his son, Adan Canela, who is also accused in the killings.
Policarpio Espinoza Perez, 31, is being tried separately from Canela, 26, for the first time. They have been tried together twice, the first trial resulting in a mistrial and the second leading to convictions that were later overturned.
In the second trial, prosecutors tentatively advanced the theory that Victor Espinoza Perez's wife, Guadalupe Juarez Hernandez, helped arrange the killings because she was angered by his attention to Espejo Quezada.