Deputy testifies in mutilation trial

November 11, 2011 4:52:31 PM PST
It's been another day of graphic testimony in the trial of a man accused of mutilating, burning and torturing his former girlfriend. The first item on the agenda was all about the science of her injuries. A warning -- this story is disturbing.

Once again, the jury saw those graphic photos of the woman's burned private parts, but this time, the jury was prepared. They'd seen the photos on Thursday. But on Friday the defense wanted to point out something particular about the photos.

The photographs were taken of the woman while she was in the hospital. We are not identifying her because of the nature of her other injuries. The defense asked Harris County Sheriff's Deputy David Rodriguez about the size of the bruises on the woman's hands, legs and ankles. Rodriguez testified the bruises were small, but also said the bruises were in the early stages of developing.

The defense is trying to prove there was no serious bodily injury.

Gregory Longoria is on trial for aggravated assault against a former girlfriend. Prosecutors say Longoria tied the woman to a bed, and burned her.

The alleged crime happened at Longoria's apartment in February. Prosecutors say Longoria called the woman and demanded she come over with their one-year-old child. That child was in another room, say prosecutors, while the woman was beaten and tortured for several hours.

Deputy Rodriguez, who interviewed the woman at the hospital, testified, "She was in disarray. She'd been crying. She was shaking. She was moaning. ... I got the smell of burnt flesh."

The defense claims the burning was not consistent with torture and was part of sex games the couple engaged in voluntarily.

Deputy Rodriguez said he went to the apartment to look for evidence.

"I was looking for a black belt, a can of hair spray, lighter and extension cord," he testified.

The prosecution says the woman was tied to a bed and was unable to leave on her own.

Our legal expert says these are important distinctions to make when proving aggravated assault.


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