Dennis Junior Rios (2008CF3153), about whom I twittered (or is it tweeted?) from trial last week was found guilty in the 1st Degree Murder case of his ex-girlfriend's boyfriend. Rios fled to New Hampshire after the offense, made several incriminating statements to a family member with whom he was staying, and was arrested after a week. Rios told this family member that he used a duplicate key to get into his ex's apartment, grabbed her by her hair and bit her, kicked the door of the back bedroom where the victim was hiding, shot through the door once and then opened the door and fired again. The Medical Examiner testified that there were 4 bullet wounds.
The thing that made this case so interesting was the testimony of Rios' girlfriend and mother of their 3 children who witnessed the murder. She consistently said she couldn't remember the details from that evening, even when shown transcripts of her statements immediately following the murder as well as her testimony at deposition. I was left wondering if she was traumatized so severely that she genuinely couldn't remember, or whether she didn't want to help the State convict the father of her children with whom she'd had a relationship for 16 years. In either case, I fervently hope the State helps her get counseling through the Crime Victim's Compensation Fund.
Rios was sentenced to LIFE in prison for the murder, a burglary charge, and possession of a concealed weapon by a convicted felon. The State's plea offer in this case was 32 years, to be concurrent with a 10 year sentence he's currently serving. I'm glad Rios rejected the offer and chose to go to trial.