Ep 73: Joanna Madonna: Self Defense Or Premeditated Murder?

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

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Visit book of the month dot com for the best new thrillers and get your first book for five dollars with code junkie. On June sixteenth, two thousand thirteen the body of sixty four year old Jose Perez was found face down in a ditch about two to four feet from the site of old bay leaf road near falls lake in Wake County, North Carolina. An agent from the county bureau of identification or C CBI was called to the scene shortly. After Jose's body was found by a man walking his dog. She saw three areas of suspected blood right there in the road. Then on the woodlined was a pair of men's shoes. And then a little further down was a knife sticking out of the ground. She walked over to the body and started examining him taking photographs of what she saw. The man was wearing a sleeveless. Cotton t shirt that appeared to be pulled up over his head and khaki colored pants. He was lying face down with his hands underneath his chest. She felt the back of his head. But didn't feel any injury. His she moved down and examined his back noting multiple puncture marks that appeared to be stab wounds. Here she is testifying in court about what she found. I then rolled him over. So I could examine the front of his of his body and enrolling for what did you observe a term that we use called rigor mortis, which is tightening of muscles. So basically occurs shortly after death. He was in full rigor, which means that I could not open his hands. Very well because he was his muscles were tight. There was also a small amount of liver mortis, which is blood pooling around the front waistband that typically happened shortly after death. It's it's a purple coloring. And there was a there were several small puncture wounds again on the front area is chest shoulders, and a very large would appear to be laceration on his. Neck descri-, lots ration- on his neck doubt. What you've served about it it appeared to be relatively deep in in several inches long. She said he was wearing a wedding band and a veteran's bracelet. It didn't take long for investigators to zero in on Jose's wife. Forty-seven-year-old Joanna Madonna as the killer and Joanna confessed that she did. In fact, kill Jose. But at her trial after listening to all of the state's evidence against her. She would tell the packed courtroom that she had to do it. The morning Donna warning. You've been saying listening to the testimony for these past week and a half or so yes, I had the the question of the trial is Madonna. Did you have to protect yourself from Jose that day? Yes. I did. Did you think Jose was going to kill you on that day? Yes. I did. Did you have to kill Jose in order to stop him from killing you? Yes. I did. Did you plan to kill Jose that day? No. I didn't. This is Jillian and you are listening to court junkie episode, seventy three. Investigators I became suspicious of Joanna just hours after identifying Jose's body. They went to the home Joanna and Jose shared in Raleigh to give the death notification to his next of kin when they arrived Joanna's middle daughter, Michelle opened the door. She told them that her mother wasn't home that she had just left to go to a meeting detective Weaver Astra to call Joanna. And so she did when Michelle got her mother on the phone. She told her that the police were there and that she needed to come home. The detectives could hear Joanna ask why the police were there Michelle told her that she didn't know and to just come home. About twenty minutes later, a white Mercedes pulled into the driveway and Joanna got out as detective Weaver approached the car Joanna said to her I've already called my attorney detective Weaver was taken aback, but proceeded with her questions she asked Joanna if she was married to Jose Perez and Joanna responded that she was then detective Weaver asked her if she knew where he was and Joanna said that he had left the night before and had gone to a rehab center. He had been drinking again, she said and had been abusive recently. And so she wanted him to leave the house. She then said he had packed a suitcase and left to go to his sponsors house on foot. Detective Weaver told her that Jose had been found deceased and Joanna immediately cut her hands to her face fell to the ground and started crying. Uncontrollably. Another detective who is there detective Snowden would later say that when Joanna moved her hands from her face. He didn't see any tears which surprised him detective Weaver lead Joanna over to the front porch steps and they sat down she asked Joanna about their marriage. And when Jose had last left, the home Joanna, again told them they had been having issues that he was drinking, and that there were problems with money and infidelity she said she had been in South Carolina the day before to see a sick relative and she had returned home late that night on the fifteenth. She said when she got home Jose was drunk, and that they had a conversation and she told him to leave. She said around seven pm he left the residence on foot with a suitcase and his cell phone. She thought he went to visit his sponsor that night. And then was heading out to Florida detective Weaver told her that Jose's death was suspicious and that he may have been murdered. She asked Joanna if they could look around the residence, so they could make sure there's nothing there. Check it off and move on with their investigation, but had responded that she had already talked to her attorney and said they would need a search warrant if they wanted to search her home. A search warrant was indeed obtained hours later Joanna was taken into custody and later that night she confessed to having killed her husband. Joanna's trial started in September of two thousand fifteen in her opening statements district. Attorney Lauren Freeman began by detailing Jose's injuries. More twelve. Five the back one so force and flicked to Joel that shattered his dentures don't insure whoever's had abandoned on the side of the road that it's the way it's ridiculous. This case Mr Jose Perez was found on the morning, gene, sixteen she said this case is unlike many others, it's not a case about who did it. But about what was in the mind of the defendant at the time she killed her husband. She said Jose was Vietnam veteran, a father, a grandfather, and friend that he was disabled, and that he was also a recovering alcoholic he had been sober for forty years and took his recovery. Very seriously. He went to meetings each week and helped others with their addictions too. And it was at one of those meetings Freeman said where he met Joanna Madonna into. Thousand nine they married. Shortly thereafter, Freeman told the jury that she will prove Joanna's intents, and she asked them to pay attention to what Joanna did leading up to the events in question. And what she did after. Joanna's attorney crystal Grimes also asked the jury to pay attention to the evidence, ladies and gentlemen, the evidence will show you that Joanna Madonna is a mother a teacher a nurture a protector a caretaker a survivor. She is not a murderer. She told the jury that Joanna a former schoolteacher had some pretty horrific things happen to her in her life. Like, the fact that Joanna's father was an alcoholic growing up. And she didn't have a good relationship with her mother at the age of sixteen. She dropped out of high school began living on the streets and started abusing drugs and alcohol. She was raped three times once when she was sixteen once when she was eighteen and then again years later at the age of twenty four the last rape resulted in a pregnancy. And she had her first daughter in nineteen Ninety-two she suffered from significant PTSD, but with the help of a recovery program and dispenser. She was able to get sober. She went on to marry a man named John Lopez and she had a second daughter in nineteen ninety four they ultimately, divorced and years later John committed suicide as the result of another failed relationship in two thousand three Joanna got remarried to a man named Chuck Pritchard. They had a child Isabel in two thousand five but that marriage didn't work either. And in two thousand nine they decided to separate shortly thereafter, she met Jose Perez. He soon left his wife and moved in with Joanna her girls and her father Grimes told the court that when Jose I moved in. He told Joanna that he was dying of cancer, which would be the first of many lies. Jose would tell Joanna later that year Jose sought treatment for chronic lying. He told his counselor that it was ruining his relationship at this point Joanna knew he didn't have terminal cancer. And wasn't dying. But he promised to change. But after years of marriage, she said, Jose's lying became worse. In December of two thousand twelve Joanna discovered that he was cheating on her. She believed he was drinking and misusing his medication. Every time. Joanna would bring up a separation Jose would threaten suicide because he said he didn't want to be alone. Joanna took this to heart after what had happened to her. First husband. So she didn't push the issue. Grime said that. Well, Jose was never physically abusive. He was very jealous and controlling Joanna seldom went anywhere alone, including to recovery meetings and to band practice Graham said she was very concerned about her safety and was afraid of being a single mother again, she was co dependent on Jose in March of two thousand thirteen Joanna gave up her teaching job to be a fulltime mother. Isabel Isabel was having behavioral issues at school and Joanna was planning on home schooling her in the upcoming school year. There were living off of Jose's disability. Check and social security check, which came out to approximately fifty five hundred dollars a month. They were living paycheck to paycheck and things only got worse when Jose started borrowing money from friends and not paying it back and not paying bills on time. After four years of marriage Joanna decided to ask Jose to leave and to seek treatment. She was nervous to approach him after he threatened to commit suicide, but on the night of June fifteen two thousand thirteen she decided to do it. She drove down to South Carolina earlier in the day to visit a terminally ill family member. William Lopez the nephew of her ex husband John Lopez during the visit Joanna mentioned that she was interested in purchasing a gun to protect her family once she separated from Jose. William was a weapons collector. And so he offered up a knife and gun and told her to take them. She said Joanna initially said, no. But then accepted and said, she would return them in a few weeks when she had enough money to purchase her own later that night Joanna got into an altercation with Jose. They had gone for a drive in Jose's Jeep. And it was there where she told him that. She wanted him to leave. He pulled out both a gun and knife and tried to kill her. She fought back and afterwards had left him on the side of the road. But believing that he was still alive Grimes acknowledged that after the altercation Joanna made some irrational decisions like not calling the police and cleaning the blood out of the Jeep. She also threw away. Jose's belongings and told his family that he was going to Florida for rehab Grimes told the court that she truly thought he was okay. And that he would be back at some point. She even researched protective orders online and contacted a friend about changing the locks while frightened. She went about that next day as normally as possible it wasn't until that next night that investigators notified her that Jose had passed away right there on the side of the road. Grimes told the court that the evidence will corroborate Joanna's testimony. This entire incident is tragic. Not only did Jose, unfortunately die as a result of these events. But it left Joanna and her family in shambles as well as Jose's. There was absolutely no reason for Joanna to Juan Jose dead. She simply wanted a divorce. And because of Jose's actions. She had no choice, but to defend herself. Ladies and gentlemen, I ask you to listen to all the evidence in this case. And once you do you will determine that Joanna donnas not guilty. Jessica Geraci an agent with the testified about what she found after executing. A search warrant at Jose Joanna's home the night. His body was found. She said there was a green Jeep in the garage and multiple large garbage cans on wheels. Inside one of the garbage cans was a bag filled with items that looked like they had been removed from vehicle, formats and cloth was suspected stains of blood on them a box knife and a stun gun device. There was another bag that contained a female's clothing. Also with suspected blood on them loose in the garbage container was a container of armor, all more cloths was suspected bloodstains and to rings one wedding band and an engagement ring. Also in the garbage were multiple ID's belonging to Jose Perez. His driver's license. Military ID social security card and VA photo ID along with multiple prescription bottles with Jose's name on them. In the Jeep were multiple stains of dried blood, including on the flooring between the front passenger seat in the front passenger door on the passenger door and the exterior of the glove compartment on the center console area rear passenger floor and on the steering wheel. There is also blood on the interior front passenger seat belts on the radio and on the gearshift and on the front. Passenger floor was what appeared to be a bone fragments? Another C C B I agent who processed the Jeep fund several areas of blood on the exterior of the vehicle to on the right rear passenger wheel on the bottom of the right rear passenger door near the bumper on the partition near the front and rear passenger doors and on the exterior passenger door. She said that on the front floorboard on the passenger side. A piece of a denture was located. She also took photos of Joanna after her arrest. And walked the jury through any injuries. She saw she said there was a very small red Mark on Joanna's, right? Cheek small red markings on her chest. Very shallow red marks on her upper lower and insides of her left arm, a quote, very very light bruise near her right, elbow, a small Mark on her middle finger and a dark bruise on the left side of her leg. When asked if Joanna pointed out any of the injuries to her. She said, yes, Joanna pointed out the bruise on her leg as well as the markings on her arms and finger and asked her to photograph them. Billy Lopez Joanna's, former brother-in-law testified that his brother John had once been married to Joanna John then killed himself years later after a conflict with his current girlfriend, Billie told the court that his son William was diagnosed with bone cancer at the age of thirteen and that he ended up passing away just a couple years ago when he was seventeen he said his son loved hunting and loved collecting weapons knives swords and guns on Saturday, June fifteenth two thousand thirteen the day. Jose was killed Joanna came to South Carolina to visit William Billy said, it seemed like something was off with her. She told me that. There's been a lot of break ins around her neighborhood. And she was scared. She said, you know, both both houses on either side of her got broken into. There was another house down the street that was broken into. And you know, she was scared. You know, she's like, I don't know. What to do? I don't know how I don't have any weapons. I don't know. I can't protect myself. And she's like, you know, I don't think I have the money to buy anything to buy a gun us gun or anything. And I says, well, you know, you're here. I'll take you to a porn shop something, you know. We could see how much you use Gunness. And we go there, and it was out of her price range, and she's like, well, maybe next month when I get my check. I'll I'll go back and get it or, you know, just get one up here now. So again that sounds good. So we get back to my ex wife's house, and my son William heard about it because he was he couldn't travel. He was bedridden but star. Well, she started talking about it a little bit, you know, and then it became the topic of conversation. And then Williams said will, you know, you take this gun. You know, you could use this one. I'll show you how to use it never anything. And she's like, no, you sure. And I was like William you shore. And he's like, yeah. You know, we gotta protect your family. That's his that was his big thing. He wanted the family protect it. Yes. What was that? Based on what she had said about the break ins in the neighborhood. So William offered her the gun, and he said she eventually took it. He said they all agreed that next month when she gets her check. She would bring it back, and they would go with her to purchase one of her own. Billy, testified that the gun. He gave her holds five shots. It was in a gun box along with the receipts. He said William also gave her a knife and told her that if someone breaks in to just unfolded and stab them. He said the entire visit lasted for about four hours. Uncrossed examination. He was asked. If he had any idea that Joanna had been planning on using the weapons for a homicide, and he said, no he believed that they were for self protection. Billy's ex wife. Michelle testified that Joanna had emailed her some time in may of two thousand thirteen and it said she wanted to come see William before he passed she then described Joanna's behavior during the visit I figured you know, because of the break ins has been going on in the neighborhood. And you know, everything that's been you know, she she was just a facials upset about that. And and nervous about that. And you know. In this when she was a little bit, you know edgy. And and the way she was so. You know, my son got really upset. He was. He was upset, and he was afraid for you know, if God forbid somebody was super into their home. They weren't have anything to defend themselves with she said, she believed what Joanna side about the break ins and believed that she was fearful when William brought the gun out. He showed it to Joanna and gave her some bullets with it. He showed her how to use it and how far away she would have to be to shoot someone. She said Joanna kept asking how to hold it. She identified the knife that had been found at the scene as the knife that William had given to Joanna after William gave her the weapons she said, they talked for a little bit more. And then Joanna said she had to go. She said the gun was in a box, and they then put everything into a bag and Joanna put it in the Jeep Robert Newton, foggy a family physician at the VA testified that as of October of two thousand seven he was Jose's primary physician. He said Jose who was fifty six. Seven at the time. He first started seeing him was in very poor health. So when Jose pres- I came to you as a patient in two thousand and seven what were his then main health problems that you and he were having to deal with. Quite a few as mom the most ill people ever seen. That's been able to function for a number of years as opposed to dine quite quickly. He detailed a plethora of medical issues Jose had including diabetes and nerve damage. He suffered from that Jose also had Wilson's disease, which means he had too much copper in his system, which led to severe liver issues. He had right hand atrophy the muscles in his hand were wasting away. And he couldn't use his hand. Very, well, he said Jose experienced tingling or loss of sensation on both arms from his elbows down to his fingers as well as strength loss. He justified that the right arm was worse than the left. But that both were significant he told the jury that there were things Jose wasn't able to do even something simple like using regular utensils to eat, and is part of the issue that he had with. The loss of sensation or the tingling and other problems the atrophy of the muscles in particular his right hand. Were there certain specific things that would have been difficult for him to do you've mentioned using regular utensils to eat what other kinds of things would have been difficult something as simple as opening a door. Knob your plan to change doorknobs as house, which must my knowledge is not done before his demise just lifting up. Ordinary. Objects was be a challenge from from a regular presumably round doorknob. What would be the preferred kind of doorknob for somebody with his kind of loss of feeling in his hands could questionable latch much easier to grip than around doorknob? He said he last saw Jose in may of two thousand thirteen just one month before he died. His height was sixty nine inches, and he weighed one hundred ninety six pounds. He noted that Jose wasn't bedridden and could do things with some degree. But that they were not done with ease or with the fluid motion. He told. The jury that he could spend an hour or more discussing Jose's medical problems and still wouldn't be able to cover all of it. He was asked if in the year prior to his death he ever questioned whether Jose was on drugs or was abusing alcohol. He said, no, he did not even all of the information that you have about mister Peres physical abilities. Do you have an opinion based on that? And your medical knowledge is to the state of his motor coordination and strength and his ability to hold aim and fire handgun. Judging by how imperative is is arms were not just the right when they had the visible attribute the visible wasting by. But the other arm is quite weak to documentation about how weak it was. I think it'd be a real challenge to do that. I would not say impossible. But I think being a real challenge. He said holding a knife would be even more difficult. Dr Laurence Scott, the associate forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy on Jose testified about Jose's injuries. She said most of his wounds were sharp force injuries on his face joh- above his collarbone and chest one was established that went deep into his neck and severed his carotid artery. Another went into his chest, cavity and perforated his heart. He also had five stab wounds on his back a stab wound on his left arm. Several superficial injuries on his wrists and several bruises on his hands and arms. There was also a blunt force injury on the back of his neck made by an object without an edge. She said it could have been from a gunshot wound grazing the skin surface. But she couldn't be sure she said Jose had been stabbed a total of. Twelve times. As the next witness walked up to the stand Joanna appeared to start crying. Rachel lopez. Joanna's twenty two year old daughter testified that she has two younger sisters Michelle who is twenty one and Isabel who is ten. She said Jose was her stepfather and that they had a good relationship. She recalled how he would give her rides to places make her food and do other stepfather Li things she said, she was aware of his health issues that he had been exposed to Agent Orange from Vietnam which caused him to have respiratory issues. He had diabetes and had problems with his heart. On the day in question Saturday, June fifteenth two thousand thirteen she said she was home for most of the day her mom had left in the morning to go to South Carolina. She said her mom returned home around seven pm, who's AI and her grandpa were also home. She heard her mom in Jose talking. But she couldn't understand what they were saying just heard their voices, which she said sounded normal about ten minutes later. She heard them leave her mom, then returned home around nine pm. She was in the kitchen looking for something to eat when her mom walked in. She was on the phone. She was KARN of sweaty. She had a cut on her arm. And I asked her what was wrong, she I could just tell she was upset. She didn't want to talk to that point. Did she she gets the shoes? She just was saying, you know, it's okay. It's okay. I asked her what happened to her arm. She said that she confronted Jose about leaving in he cut her. And we asked her to call the police didn't you not at that moment. When she I told you that what did you do at screamed he cuts you? She told me to shush because my grandfather was in the next room in she didn't want to upset him. And I after that I went upstairs, and I called my mentor at the time and she prayed with me. Later on you went downstairs, correct? Yes. And you asked your you told your mother, you wouldn't she should call the police, correct? I was. Yeah. I was telling her, you know, we should call the police in case Jose came back all the police did you. She met complete answer is giver teams. I'm Cy other didn't want to call the police. Did she you know? You didn't call the police for her. Did you now Rachel said she then went back upstairs and went to sleep the next day. She went to church and was there all day. There were a variety of church functions. She was involved in she returned home around five or six, and there were detectives there. She was told at that time that Jose had died. Investigators asked her to go to the police station with them and she agreed since her mom's arrest, she said she has spoken to her mom's attorneys several times, and you don't want your mom to go to jail. Do you the prosecutor asked? No, she replied on cross examination. Rachel was asked about the activities. Jose did around the house. She said Jose would do laundry yard work, cook and clean. He went to the gym and had a gym membership. He also took her grandpa to his doctor appointments and volunteered at the VA regularly. She testified that Jose was a good person. He had. Some issues with lying. He wanted a certain lifestyle for them. But he wasn't able to provide it. He was a good guy. She said through tears. She said her mom has a really big heart and is really carrying quote. She loves people and would do anything for her family. She said she knew her mom had been raped three times in her life and was on medication for anxiety. Her mom also suffered from fiber myalgia, which she said caused her a lot of pain in her joints. When asked if that affected her mom's energy level. She said, yes, she told the court that her mom loved Jose and was happy with him. She would see them hug kiss and go on dates if they ever argued she said it was over little things or about money. She never saw either one of them ever be violence Cameron lily Quist, a sergeant with the Wake County sheriff's office testified that when he interviewed Rachel. She was very forthcoming. He read her written statement allowed for the. Jury it states during this combo, my mom knocked on my door. I asked her where was Jose. And she said she took him to his sponsors house. Also told her a wanted to call the police, but she, but she said, no, it's okay. He's not coming here. Chuck Pritchard Joanna's second husband, testified that on the weekend of his death. Jose dropped off Chuck and JoAnne, his daughter Isabel. He said he was supposed to meet Joanna on that Sunday afternoon to give Isabel back, but she called him on Sunday morning and told them that Jose had moved to Florida. She told him not to tell Isabel because it would upset her. He met up with her later that day at some point between eleven and to Joanna arrived in her Mercedes and he put Isabel into the back seat. He said Joanna never got out of the car and that they didn't say much to each other. He said he didn't notice anything unusual about her. Later that evening around ten or eleven Joanna called him and told him that the police were at her house looking around Joanna's other daughter Michelle brought Isabel back over to his house. And he said she's been there ever since he learned that Jose was murdered when his sponsor called him and asked if he was okay, he said, he hadn't known anything about it prior to that. He too was interviewed by detectives he told them that once when they were married Joanna got mad at him in through a fork at him. Although he said he deserved it. Karen battle from the Wake County sheriff's office testified that she collected DNA samples from Joanna in jail. She said Joanna asked what she was being charged with. And she told her that she was being charged in connection with her husband's stuff Joanna just said, okay. She then asked whether she could get coffee with her lunch in jail battle said that she was very talkative and appeared to be in a good mood. A man named Chad Richardson, then took the stand he testified about a relationship. He was having with Joanna around the time of Jose's death. He said he was a mental health substance abuse coordinator, and that Shabana started coming in for appointments in March of two thousand thirteen three months before Jose's death. He said after one of her sessions they started talking outside of therapy. Joanna sang in a band, and he played bass guitar and so one night she asked him if he wanted to play a gig with her band, and he said, yes, he said this was in may or June of two thousand thirteen after the gig. He and Joanna's started to text message each other. They got together for lunch and then walked around and talked. He said they met up about four or five more times at some point their interactions took on a flirtatious tone. He told the court that one day they went to his hometown for the day and drove around he said they. Even kissed once on the day of Jose stuff Saturday, June fifteenth, he said he and Joanna were texting back and forth, and that they made plans to get together the following night. He said one of her text messages read it's almost done which she thought that meant she was going to tell her husband that she wanted to separate. She then texted it got ugly. The next day on Sunday, she came over to his house later in the afternoon to hang out. He said is far as he knew her husband had left the night before. And that they were now separated she had initially asked him to come over. And he declined he said he wasn't sure if her husband was going to be around. So instead, she came over to his house that evening. She told him that things got either rough or ugly. He couldn't remember which word she used the night before with Jose. She showed him her arms and said that Jose had cut her with a knife. He said he saw scratches on her arms with that. They didn't look. Like, a knife cut more like fingernail, scratches. He said he thought it was odd. He asked if she had called the police, and she said, no, she didn't want to get them involved. She then told him that Jose had left for Florida. Anyway, Chad said he gave a statement to the police on June twenty six about ten days after Jose was found he told the detectives that he remembers JoAnne telling him that she had married Jose because he had cancer and would be dying soon. He also said that during one conversation Joanna told him that she only had sex with Jose as an obligation and that she never enjoyed it. He said that he had indicated to Joanna that he wanted to wait until she had ended her relationship with Jose investigators asked if they could download text messages from his phone, and he said yes detective Snowden with the Raleigh police department recounted for the jury their first interactions with Joanna after telling her that her husband was deceased. After she informed. Her husband had been deceased. She cut her hands to her face and fell to the ground and started crying. Uncontrollably. She make any kind of contact with you or waiver. She made contact with with detective Weaver detective Weaver knelt down next to her and tried to console her. You were real close to her as well. Is that correct be about maybe three feet away? And what you said she covered her face. She did. But what detective we've always talking to her she moved her hands. And when she moved her hands. Could you see your face could what did you see she paired to be she peered to be acting like she was crying? But I didn't sexually your honor. But I didn't see any tears. He said detective Weaver walked over to the steps to ask are some follow up questions. Once a detective, we were started asking some questions, she she immediately calmed down and was very controlled any tears while she was sitting on the steps, I didn't see any see you never signing tears. I never saw one tier? He said detective Weaver, then asked Joanna about her marriage and when Jose had left the residence. That's when Joanna told her that they had been having issues. Did she ever ask detective Weaver or anybody else there? How her husband had died sh she did not where he died. Sergeant Brian gay with the Wake County sheriff's office testified that he looked into whether or not there were any reported break ins and Joanna's neighborhood after learning that that was the reason Joanna gave for wanting a gun. He looked at all incidents in the area from September of two thousand twelve when Joanna and Jose had moved into their home until June of two thousand thirteen he told the court that there was just one single break in call. And that was more than a mile away from Joanna and Jose's house surgeon gay testified that he was also present when detective Weaver, I told Joanna that Jose was deceased. He too said she never asked where Jose was found or whether he had been murdered. But she did ask if he had heard himself. He said at that point. He started to suspect that she may have something to do with it when they executed their search warrant he said, they removed a Garmin GPS system that had been thrown in the garbage in the garage. They also. Took a gun box and an ammunition box that were found in the master bedroom closet and papers that had been thrown out that had belonged to a surgeon gay was shown a photograph that had been taken. When Joanna went to South Carolina in the photo. She was wearing blue jeans and a dark blue or black shirt that clothing matched the bloody clothing that was discovered in the trash can we'll get into more trial testimony, including testimony from Joanna herself right after this quick break from today's sponsors. With the winter blues coming to an end. Finally, it's time to get back into a routine that empowers you to feel your healthiest care of is a subscription service that makes it easy to get vitamins protein powders and more personalized just for you and delivered straight to your door caravans fun online quiz asks you about your diet, your health goals and lifestyle choices. 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He said that could mean that Jose had been holding the gun when it fired, but that it was impossible to tell how exactly the residue got there. He said it could be that. He was in close proximity to the gunman at fired or it could have been transferred. There. He said they didn't do a gunshot residue test on Joanna. They don't test for that on living people if it spend more than four hours since the incident occurred, he said that simply touching something can remove or transfer the residue on cross examination. He said once they found residue on Jose's left palm. They didn't search the right palm or continue on. Declare once she found the gunshot residue on his left. Paul you continue to search any further tests to other swabs for gunshot resident that's correct? Because there are reasons behind that like why not test the right palm steel and continue on with the it doesn't change the conclusion of my report. I'm if I find particles characters have gunshot residue. It's going to be the same collusion and being that gunshot residue easily transferred from hand to hand, it really doesn't hundred percents show that you know, the meaning that okay, we found residue. An appalling verse the back. Is there any way that you can say the you can't say where the gunshot residue came from? But is it most likely that there was you can say most likely or put any kind of degree on that if a gunshot residue was found on their hand where that gunshot residue k from all I can say is that either came from the fire weapon being coast proximity to a discharge weapon or touching something that came in contact with them. Vanessa Gant, who's as daughter testified about her dad's physical ailments. She said he never even wore his seatbelt because he couldn't reach over and click it due to the weakness in his hands. She told the jury that he actually had a doctor's note for that. And that he kept it in the vehicle in Casey got stopped by police. He also had problems getting around, but he was able to walk some his very limited his feet would start hurting. He would tell me his legs are starting to go numb you needed to sit. Generally when he came over to visit. He would sit she recalled for the jury how she I learned that something was amiss with her father on that Saturday night June fifteenth, she received a text message from his phone she and a couple of her girlfriends were out celebrating her birthday, I received a text message from his phone between eight and nine o'clock that night stating that he was leaving going to Florida. His does not have his phone. But he will contact me when he gets there was there. Anything unusual to you about that? Yes. Number one. He did not take phone with unusual from not take phone. It would be very unusual for him. Not to take his phone with this text message. He had indicated to you that he was not taking his fun. Correct tyson. Don't contact me. I won't have my phone that kind of thing. Correct. Okay. What else about instructs us unusual that he would just leave without saying goodbye to us or to his grandchildren or? Anything like that? Specially that late at night. She said a little while later, she received a text message from Joanna I received a text message from her setting that he was drinking and hanging out with people that were doing drugs and that he needed to leave. And did you think there's anything unusual about that? Yes. Because that was not his character at all. That was not him. Did you receive any further texts from the defendant? I replied back to the communication about what had happened here. Dad, I replied back to her and just asked her why? And why didn't you got? Why didn't they come to us for help? You know, we're family and and. That was pretty much the end of the conversation at that point. I just became angry. And just didn't wanna discuss it. Like, I was done Joanna. Also texted her saying that he was going to a rehab facility in Florida. The next night. She got a phone call from an unknown number. She thought it might be her dad, but it was a detective who after a few questions, and then said they needed to meet with her. She cried on the stand as she recalled. How our kids would feel to not have her father in their lives anymore. Michael Brooker Sohn with the CBI testified about computer searches that were made on the computer at Joanna and Jose's home on the day after Jose stuff. The following phrases were entered into Google rally dump hours declare someone dead if missing upon death of veteran filing for separation and life insurance survivor benefits. A friend of Jose's named David Whitcomb told the court that he saw or talk to Jose every day, and that Jose's sobriety was his number one priority. He had been sober for over thirty years. He said he would often go over to Jose's house and help him do things that Jose couldn't do himself. But what kinds of things would he have to ask you to do? I mean, I remember one time going over and putting all night which cover on. And you know, I was kinda just amazed that he couldn't do that. But his his kind of like some crimped hand crimp fingers and couldn't really hold a screwdriver stuff. Ear member or do. You know, what it was that calls that condition in his hands to ever talk about that? I mean, he was I think he was in Vietnam, and he got some kind of infection or stuff from the chemicals Agent Orange or something that went home with that and says your understanding was that somehow his limitations and his hands were related to issues. He'd had coming out of his service. I believe so he said Jose was having some financial troubles. And that he told him that Joanna would get into his account and spent his money he said Jose also had suspicions at one point. That Joanna had fooled around on him. He said one time Joanna called him and told him your boys losing it over here. He's acting out you need to talk to him. He told her that she could reassure him more than he could when asked if Jose ever talked about leaving Joanna he said, no on the day of his death. Jose called him and wanted to get together. They made plans to meet up the next day at their AA meeting. When he was on his way to that meeting on the morning of Sunday June sixteenth. He saw Jose's Jeep driving down the street. He caught up to it. But it wasn't Jose driving. It was his stepdaughter. Michelle Joanna's middle daughter behind the wheel he asked her what she was doing. And she said she was going to work when asked if Michelle driving the Jeep was unusual. He said, yes because Jose would never let Michelle drive his Jeep. He said they didn't get along very well that Michelle was very disrespectful to Jose. He said Joanna texted him later that day and asked if he could come over and put a chain lock on the door. He called her and asked her what was going on. He said that earn Jose got into an argument and. He left to Florida with a friend. And she was really scared and asked if I would come over and change the locks on the doors in member her talent, you that she had found some rom that he had started drinking a girl she such found a bottle of rum in the garage. And why do you think about that? I, you know, I didn't believe I'm willing. Why didn't you believe it? Jose his, you know, he's been sober for a long time. I wouldn't believe that she was drinking either she'd been sober for a long time to he heard about Jose's death. When he saw it on the news. He was asked if he had ever witnessed Jose get violent with Joanna. Why why do you laugh on Bose it? Jose's a little guy. Yeah. Did you ever? Hear would kick. His if he tried anything. She's she's she can take over stone. That's pretty strong. When asked if Jose ever talked about wanting to hurt himself. He said, no. Detective Darcy Weaver was the last witness to testify for the state. She said when she told Joanna about Jose's death. Not only did she not see any tears, but she said Joanna actually seemed angry when talking about him Joanna told her that he had been drinking and cheating on her. And that she had caught him e mailing another woman that she had asked him to leave and he had threatened to harm himself. She said he was spending their money, and that he had been drinking a lot and hanging out with drug users, and she was angry about that. And seemed very frustrated detective Weaver was asked if Joanna seemed to be impaired at all or like she was having a break from reality during that time, and she said no during a second search of Joanna and Jose's residence on June twenty fifth investigators collected more items including letters written from Joanna while she was in jail to her daughters. Rachel and Michelle the letter to Michelle included a list of things she wan-. Her to be thankful for including Starbucks and flat iron detective Weaver said they also collected other documents from the home, including last will and testament for Jose, which left Joanna his estate and properties the day after Joanna's arrest. She said they went back to the crime scene with canines and metal detectors. They were looking for the gun. Joanna had said would be there. But they never found it detective Weaver testified that there were numerous text messages between Joanna and Chad the man she had been seeing behind Jose's back on June. Twelve two thousand thirteen Joanna in Chad text throughout the day later at night. He writes come over now and sleep in my arms can't wait and Joanna responds. I can't wait to see you, slush, touch, you slash etc. You the next day on June thirteenth Chad rates that he's excited to see her later that night Joanna response. That she has no idea what to do with herself until then she also tells him that she will have to be pretty covered up, quote can't wear anything cute. Otherwise, I will get busted sad face three hours later. Joanna tech sim while dot dot dot Chad responds. Wow. We have jumped off the cliff, and I'm so freaking high then a little later Chad sensor, a good night, text and says sweet dreams, and we'll continue where we left off. I wish I had kissed you. One more time Joanna and Chad text message back and forth on the next day June fourteenth. He tells her to be careful when she drives to South Carolina. The next day, quote, don't want anything to happen to my goddess he writes on June fifteenth the day of Jose's death. They send each other loving good morning texts. Joanna later texts him just wanted to let you know. I'm on my way back beautiful visit with my nephew. I hope to go back. And if you weeks Chad rights glad you had a good. Visit good luck tonight. Sia then miss you. They exchange if you more tax, and then Joanna writes this thing tonight will work out the way God intended it to work out. I'm in my third step. Absolutely. Chad says I agree looking forward to the next step and our soul adventure and Joanna responds. I will let you know how things turn out later. I feel you in my soul. Five hours later. Joanna rights almost done dot dot dot and Chad responds hang in there. Baby an hour after that Joanna rights chat again and says he is gone. Chad responds while we'll talk tomorrow. Are you? Okay. Joanna tells him quote, it was ugly. And then asks if he's going to sleep Chad responds that he is. But he can text a little and Joanna says, okay, we can just talk tomorrow. Then. The next morning on June sixteenth Chad rights morning you awake? I guess. So if you're reading this Joanna responds morning, Chad. How are you doing? Joanna. It was sad. He left on foot walking threatened to walk in front of a truck. I just let him go. I had to been there too many times before Chad. Did he remain on foot or come back to get a car? Where did he go Joanna never came back? He has to a guys near here said one would be taking him to Florida, Chad. Wow. I'm sure that was hard going to walk Pavlov while the kids are sleeping. We'll connect later thinking about you Joanna. Thank you, babe. Then an all caps. She writes happy Father's Day Joanna then says I am working on a babysitter for tonight. It just feels right and Chad responds awesome. Two hours later Joanna tells him that she got a sitter. She then says she can't do any banking until the following day and asks if he can loan her ten dollars for the sitter. And he says, of course, she tells him that she will be over by seven thirty. Then Joanna tells him that she is taking her two daughters to the pool and that her phone will be at home charging. She then text him again, two hours later asking him. How his Father's Day was he said it was good. And that he's on his way home. He asks her what she likes to drink. And she says water or diet Joanna then says, I don't feel sexy at all. I feel old and drained I'm in mom close. Sorry this too shall pass. I'm sure Chad responds sexy is not knowing your sexy. Don't care what you wear SIA. Not soon enough. Joanna said, okay baby and told them she will let him know when she's on the way. An hour later. She text that she's on her way. No curfew. She writes. But the smiley face two hours later, a text message from Chad you, okay, Joanna responds. No he died. Chad rates am so sorry. Do you need anything in the next morning? He texts again, praying for you. After detective weavers testimony the state then rested their case. The defense kicked off their side by calling a therapist to the stand who had seen Jose in two thousand nine before. He and Joanna were married. She testified that at first she saw Jose by herself. But then the couple would come in together. They were co dependent on each other. She told the court. She also said that Jose was paranoid that Joanna would leave him. And so he kept a packed suitcase around in case she forced him to leave. After that Joanna Madonna then testified on her own behalf. Her attorney Deontay Thomas. We said no time in asking her direct questions right out of the gate. The question of the trial is miss, Donna. Did you have to protect yourself from Jose that day? Yes. I did. Did you think Jose was going to kill you on that day? Yes. I did. Did you have to kill Jose in order to stop him from killing you? Yes. I did. Did you plan to kill Jose that day? No. I didn't. Did you think that after Jose to Lee was going to work out the way that it did? No, I didn't. Did you love Jose? I did love Jose. I still love who's. Where are you in love with Jose around this point in time when everything went down at this time, I was not in love with Jose. I had been in love with Jose at one point in the relationship really early on before all the lying and stuff started. But at this point, I was no longer in love with Jose Joanna was then asked about her background. She said she was adopted as a baby and grew up in New York. She said she loved her parents very much, but that there was a lot of difficulty in the house. Her father was an alcoholic, and she was often put in the middle between her parents arguing about it. She said the most traumatic thing she remembers from her childhood. However is that at the age of five she was molested by her teenage neighbor, and her neighbors brother, she said, she never told anyone about it until she was twenty one she recalled her struggles with drugs and alcohol from the age of fourteen and how she was kicked out of her house at the age of sixteen. She told the jury. About how shortly afterwards a guy who worked at the mall with her offered to let her stay with him. She said he raped her and she got out of there and ended up sleeping in the park that night when asked if she called the cops after that happened. She said, no, she didn't call anyone did to call the coast. No, you call anyone. I didn't call anyone one. Oh, I blamed myself I had been drinking. So I figure the somehow made me culpable and the where you shamed of yourself. Absolutely. She said at that point. She was asking her parents if she could come back, but they wouldn't let her she said she had been a virgin before the rape. And that it must trip sexually for a long time about eight months later. She was walking down the Bronx river Parkway with a group of friends who had been drinking. She said she left the group because she had to use the bathroom and didn't realize that there is a man there with her right there in broad daylight. She said he threw her down and raped her. Her. She said she caught up with the rest of the group immediately afterwards. But didn't tell anyone what had happened of you ever given any any thought about why you didn't call the police on these occasions or why you didn't talk to anyone that that point in time. I've done a lot of therapy here and there to deal with being a rape survivor. And my understanding is that it's not uncommon for somebody who's raped to blame themselves and even about having been molested as a child, you know, that's a very difficult thing for me to talk about is a very difficult thing for me to have lived with. But I think it's pretty common to feel some kind of shame and feel like, you know, blaming myself. And how has that affected your opinion on strange men and men in general? Yeah, I have what happens to me is an it'll just kind of happened at random intervals sometimes and like I could be I could be fine for a couple of months. And then all of a sudden like there's an example, I was sitting up at a meeting one night. And there was nobody else around at the church, and I was going into the kitchen to set up the coffee, and all of a sudden I heard footsteps around the corner. And so all of a sudden, I I panic, and I have my store my heart starts racing. And it doesn't matter if even know that I'm safe or not it's just it's almost like an anxiety that comes over me. And then sometimes it can last just last a couple of days, and sometimes it takes a little longer to work through. But it can be very debilitating. Joanna told the court that when she was eighteen her mom had a stroke. She returned home went back to high school and started reengaging with her family. She then went on to college and work that a newspaper after school. She said she was still drinking and smoking marijuana and not only that but she had also developed an eating disorder, which she eventually got help for her mother passed away after having another stroke and Joanna said she drink more to cope with that. She said she managed to graduate from college and started teaching fulltime at a school in the Bronx. She squeaked by she said still using drugs and drinking alcohol when she was twenty four she was raped again this time by her drug dealer, whom she had started dating. This was a date rape. She said and was more devastating than the last two rapes. She was asked if she ever told anyone about that rape. And she said, no not until much later. She didn't see the guy again after that. But as a result, she got pregnant with her first child a daughter, she named Rachel by this time, she had gotten clean, and it started going to AA meetings. She said finding out she was pregnant was one of the best days of her life shortly after she married her. First husband John Lopez and had a second daughter Michelle with him. He ended up committing suicide years after they divorced. She was a single mom for the next eight years before marrying Chuck Pritchard with whom she had her third daughter Isabel. She met Jose in two thousand nine and he soon moved in with her and her daughters after she and Chuck had separated. But she said she ended up catching Jose in lie after lie. One lie was that he told her he had cancer. She said she later found out that he had had cancer. But not for many years another lie. He told her revolved around their finances. He lied to her about the amount of bills he owed each month. She said she was sick of it. And she tried telling him to leave, but he told her that he was going to kill himself that he couldn't live without her. She said he agreed to go to therapy. And so they decided to work it out and to get married, but she said every time they had issues, and she said she wanted a divorce. He would again threatened to kill himself. It happened at least three times a year at one point they had decided to move to New York. And so they went through all the steps to move. But at the last minute, she learned that Jose didn't have the finances. He. Said he did to move. He had lied again to her. She said it was devastating for the family. They had all made preparations to transfer their lives to New York. Her kids included. She told the court that there were a lot of red flags with Jose, including the fact that he had jealousy issues. But they continued to stay together the defense, then introduced various photos of Joanna and Jose throughout their marriage. They told the judge without the jury present that they were introducing the photos for two reasons. One to show that Joanna and Jose were happy together. And that she loved him and to that he was capable of doing physical activities. One of the photos showed him painting the bedroom in their home in two thousand thirteen another one also from two thousand thirteen showed him standing in their yard with the saw in Joanna told the jury that he had been cutting down branches Joanna testified that in March two thousand thirteen she noticed. That Jose had started drinking again, she had found bottles of rum in their house. And so she confronted him about it. But Jose denied it. He told her that she was crazy and told her that the alcohol was for daughters. But she said she knew that it was his she also smelled alcohol on his breath quite a few times afterwards. Although he still denied it in may of two thousand thirteen she said she sat down at their computer. And it was logged into Jose's Facebook account. She said she saw lovey messages between Jose and another woman in Florida. She copied and pasted the messages into a word document that was shown in court. She said when she confronted Jose about the messages, she told him, I want my divorce, he told her he didn't know who the woman was and he denied doing anything wrong. S for her relationship. With Chad Joanna told the jury that it started when they played their gig together about a month after she found Jose's messages. She said she told Chad that she was separating from Jose. And so he told her that when she's ready he wants first dibs that started back and forth that involved over the next week. She said towards the end of may she learned that her ex husband's nephew William was going into hospice. And so she decided she wanted to visit him before he passed on that Saturday morning. She said she left sometime between eight and nine she took Jose's car. And she said he was very angry with her for going without him. I was in trouble because I was going down without him. And that was one of the things that I mean, if I was usually when we well when I went anywhere. It was expected that we were gonna go together. And the fact that I went down there by myself was like disobeying she said she had decided that she. Was going to come home later and ask Jose to leave. And so she told everyone that was her plan her daughter's her father, her sponsor her friends. She wanted to do it before the end of the weekend. So that she could celebrate the next day Father's Day with her father when she got to her nephew Williams house in South Carolina. She said his mother met her outside and told her not to talk with William about the cancer to just let them talk about what he loves which was weapons. Sure enough when she saw him. He started talking about his weapons, and he showed her his collection. Joanna told the jury that the only way she could contribute to the conversation was if she told him how she was thinking about getting a gun for herself William told her that he had one that she could borrow at first she refused. But he told her that he wanted her in her family to be safe. He told her that when she comes back in a couple of weeks. She can give it back. He loaded it for her and talk to her about how to use it. He gave her a knife as well. When she got home. Her plan was to take Jose for a drive and then to drop him off at his sponsors house. So he could go to rehab. She asked Jose to take a ride with her they stopped at a gas station, and then went to the dollar store. She said she had a suspicion that Jose knew what she was going to tell him because she had told her father and the two had been home together all day after they left the dollar store. She decided to do it. She told him that she wanted to get a divorce and that she wasn't beckon down this time. He started telling her that he loved her that he would kill himself. But she stopped him and told them that she needed his sponsors address that she was going to drop him off there. And that was it. She said Jose, then told her that he was going to have a heart attack and started clutching his chest. Would be doing. He says he's going to have a heart attack. I pulled over into a parking lot on the right hand side. There was like a church there on the right, and I pulled into the parking lot. And what happened then? I go out of the car on my side. And he got out core on his side. And I came around the back of the car to go over and help him with whatever he said he was gonna throw up and by the time, I was coming around the back of the car. I heard a gunshot, and I looked up and he was pointing the gun at me. What did you do when you saw him pointing a gun at you. I was in shock. I stood there for a second. And then he turned the gun on himself. And he had it pointed at his I'm not sure if he had appointed under here or where he was pointing it, but he had it pointed at himself, and at that point, I believe this is he's going to kill himself. And fired a shot at you before he fired a shot at me. What did you do? Then when you saw them pointing the gun and upsells I've lunged forward to grab his hand and grab to pull his hand away from his face and gun went off at that point and shot him in the face. And I grabbed sorry. Happened in and I grabbed the gun and the gun went off again. I don't know if that hit him or didn't hit him. I don't know what happened. But that one shot had he was bleeding. He was bleeding from that that shot to his face. She said she was in shock. He was yelling and was mad at this point. He told her that he was going to walk to the hospital. She dropped the gun there. And they both got back in the car. She started driving back the way they had come. She said she was trembling shaking and freaking out. He's bleeding and he's screaming, and he's bleeding on the he's spitting blood. And he's washing his hands out in the mountain dew Cup, and he's rinsing his face out with the mountain dew the soda. And then. Well, when back a little bit if he thought he was trying to kill you any shot at you before why are you trying to help him there? I'm more thinking about him. And I thought it was my fault that he was that upset I knew he was going to get upset when I asked him to leave. So I was expecting something. I just didn't expect him to shoot at me. But I mean, I had expected any might try to kill themselves. So. Did you feel responsible for I felt completely? It was my fault. It was absolutely my fault. And I'm taking him to the hospital. And that's all I'm thinking, he's bleeding. I'm taking him to the hospital when asked why she didn't call nine one one at that point. She said she didn't have her phone on her that she had left it charging at home. She said they never made it to the hospital because he again started clutching his chest in saying that he was going to have a heart attack. He again asked her to pullover. Jose got out again, I got out on my side. He got out on his side. And this time I'm coming around the side of come around the back again. And he came at me. And I I I thought that he punched me or, but it might have been he elbowed me. But whatever he did. He knocked me in the chest. And I fell back and I hit the ground on my back. He got on top of me. He laid he basically like jumped right on top of me and was holding me down and. Not even really accepting what's happening at this point. And I looked at my arm, and my arm was bleeding, and he's on top of me. And he's got his arm crushed against my my my chest over here. And this point I can't breathe that I feel like I'm drowning and I'm like. I feel like I'm drowning because he's right on top of me. And he's got me compressed. And he's got his arm presto against me. That one I'm struggling and I'm trying to get out from under him. And I'm trying to get I'm trying to breathe, and I can't breathe, and I don't know how many minutes or how long I was under him like that. And. And so I'm fading feeling like I'm going to die at this point because I can't breathe and. Everything's getting light in my head. And I'm feeling dizzy, and and then I heard him say he's going for Michelle. If you think you're going to that point. Absolutely. She said she didn't see the knife at this point. She just knew that her arm was bleeding. She thought he was going to choke to death at thought I was dying. She said, so what did you do? What I heard him say he was going for Michelle. I looked over. I was able to move my head out. And I saw the knife on the ground over on the left side, and I grabbed the knife. And I started swinging on them, do you? Do you know if? If you're left hand or you're right. I don't know if it was my left hand or my right hand. I don't remember. Did you specifically aimed for anything or no I just started swinging on? And I kept swinging on them until I felt like he wasn't holding me down anymore. Did you think you had to kill them in order to stop your own say did she said she has no recollection of how many times she sowing the knife? She got out from under him and ran towards the car but out of the corner of her eye. She said it looked like he was about to get up. So she ran over to him took his shoes off and threw them and the knife into the woods. So he couldn't go after her. She then got into the car and drove home. She said she kept telling herself that he was just going to his sponsor Fred's house. And that he was fine. Seeing the the wounds mister Peres sustain. Yes. I did in is your testimony the jury that you thought he's still might beginning. A I did I told myself he's getting up he's gonna Fred's. I didn't realize at that point. How many times I had stabbed him? That's what you told yourself you. Go night told myself he was going to get up and go to Fred's where you hopeful that he was going to get up and go to France. Yes. I was. When she got home. She tried calling her daughter Michelle since Jose had mentioned her name and said he was going to go after her. She told Michelle that she needed to come home and that she needed to see her. She then went into the garage and started cleaning the blood out from the Jeep. She then called Michelle again to ask her to pick up some seat covers for her when Michelle got home, she asked her for her help in cleaning the Jeep, but Michelle refused. She said both Michelle and Rachel wanted her to call nine one. But that she still thought Jose was fine and was just going to his sponsors house. She said she started calling people and telling them that Jose had loved that. He was at his sponsors house, and then was going to Florida. She said she tried going to sleep that night. But was concerned that Jose was going to come back to the house? I was up tossing and turning and I finally got up at like five or something in the warning. And I started begging up his stuff, and I figured Fred was going to come by at some point later. So I. All the stuff in the plastic bags forum. And and then I think that point where I got on the computer and was looking up mass times and stuff, and you said you you bag it up for him. But you through things away. I ended up throwing it away as the day went on. I started getting angry because I just I just kept saying he he just tried to kill me. And I couldn't believe it because that was Jose. You know, that was Jose. That was my husband. That was my that was my that was Jose. You know, so I got I got angry during the day and through the bags in the garbage instead of giving them to his sponsor. She said at that point, she asked her friend, Dave to come change, the locks and to put a chain on the inside of the door. She was asked why she texted people from Jose's phone and do you remember ever finally Jose's phone? I had I had. Gene, Jose's phone in the car. The night before it was in the pocket of the car. And did you takes people from Jose five texted people from Jose's phone yet? Why would you do that? The only thing I was thinking at the time was that I didn't want anybody to worry about them. So I wanted to let people know he was going to Florida, but you guys that have this fight. And it was a it was a bad fight. They want to know or need to know about that. At that point. I was not thinking clearly she said she went to church that next day when to an AA meeting took her daughter Isabel to the pool, and then went over to CHAD'S house that evening, while did you meet with the well, I mean, I'd like to say Chad had been Chad was the one person that knew everything about what had been going on with me and Jose. But that was I went over to CHAD'S. Do you understand how that looks? Absolutely. How does it look it looks like I was cheating on Jose? And you were cheating on that. Yes. Did you kill Jose Perez the day before so you could start a relationship with Chad now and since that day when Jose passed away have you started a relationship with chat now. When you were chance house at where did you tell him when it happened that night? I didn't tell him. I mean, I told him the whole thing about Florida. I told them the same thing that I've been telling myself and telling everybody else, so I didn't tell him. I couldn't tell anybody. She said once she got the call that police were at her house. She went home immediately by that time. She had started to suspect that Jose hadn't gone to his sponsors house after all. On cross examination. Assistant DA Deborah sandals. Astor if she had anything to gain from Jose's Duff and Joanna said no chandeliers then brought up letters Joanna had written to her daughters while in jail that instructed them to look into hoes as survivor benefits. That's just all survivor benefits. I'm not sure how any of that works, especially since he died of not are not natural causes. She was asked if she had married Jose for the VA benefits. And then channels brought up a letter she had written from jail to a friend of hers while you and Jose were having this loving relationship. You were telling your friend Bonnie things like you married him from the VA benefits. Didn't you? I don't remember saying that I don't I had benefits when I married Jose. I already had benefits there were no VA benefits that I was aware of did you write to your friend? Bonnie Henry on July third two thousand thirteen and tell her in that letter. So he told me that. We should get married. So that I could take care of him for the last few months, and I would be able to get the benefits. I don't remember reality. He wasn't dying. Do you remember writing that? We had probably talked about especially the educational benefits for the girls. Did you write that you married him for the benefits? I if that's what I wrote there, then that's what I wrote. But by the time, we got married I knew there was I mean, he was not dying. I knew that shambles. Then asked her about something she told her daughter Michelle after she got home that night when you first got a cold that the police were at your house that you started com new daughter Michelle I started making several phone calls. Michelle had been the last thing that he had been talking about. He was coming for her. He was going to get her. So she was most on my mind at that point. And so is that why you asked her? That's why you told her that you had dumped his body someone. We're no one would find I made up a lie. Lied to Michelle. I lied to Michelle. I lied to Michelle. And I believe that I said that yesterday I told Michelle whatever I needed to tell her to get her to be quiet. Yes. I lied to Michelle answer to that question is. Yes. Yes. Did that you told her that you had dumped Jose's body where it would never be found among the other allies. Yes, I told Michelle that they would not find him. And is that why you also asked her to come help you clean up all of Mr. presence blood out of the Jeep when she got home. I was cleaning. I did not ask her to come help me clean up. I was cleaning off the where he had spit the blood on the dashboard, she came in and I was cleaning. And at that point. I had been just I was exhausted. My body. I couldn't do it anymore. And I. Asked her to help me. And she said Shan does asked her about the break ins, she had told Billy and William about she said she had heard that there had been break ins in the neighborhood. And that Jose had heard that two Shanteau's then asked her why the gun box was found in her bedroom closet. She said she had put it there after the alter -cation with Jose because she had planned to go back and get the gun since it wasn't hers. She was then going to put it back in the box and give it back to her nephew. She said she had left the gun in the parking lot where she had pulled over. But she couldn't remember exactly where it was. She handles then questioned her about the struggle. She said she had with Jose your fun too. Yup. And you weigh about one seventy now I weigh one sixty at the time you wait around one. Seventy didn't you that sounds right. And he was five nine. Yup. In weighed about one ninety. I believe so. And so you were struggling and struggling with him and took the knife into your hand. And you couldn't get out from underneath this, man. So you had to keep stabbing him. I just kept stabbing him until I felt like I could get up. And did you stab him? I in the face next to his his mouth. I don't. Remember stabbing him in the face. No. I believe that the injury to his face where the gun had gone off. And that was from the gun. The only I do not believe I stabbed him in the face. You didn't see the picture of the stab wound right next to his lip on the testimony of the EMMY, I believe that what is on his face was from the gunshot. That's the only thing that I I believe that. That's where he was shot, and you didn't hear the testimony and see the photographs from EMI that show to stab wounds on the side of his face. Overall, cheat man's. I don't recall seeing any stab wounds on his face shambles. Then asked Joanna about the lack of blood on her, clothing and hair. If Jose had really been on top of her, and your testimony was just a few minutes ago that Jose was had a big huge wound on the side of this on the side of his things that he got on top of you. He was leaning over you and you stabbed him and stabbed him and stabbed him. And slashed him. And there was no blood on you. He was laying directly on top of me at the point when I started swinging on him and so. That's what I can tell you know, blood your hair. I'm not sure if there was blood in my hair, I took a shower. I knew I had blood all over my arms and my face and my neck, and I went in and took a shower because it had started drying and Rachel when she testified said that she saw some scratches on your arm on one arm. She didn't testify about blood in your face or blood on your neck or blood on your chest or blood anywhere else. Did she? I did not hear her say anything about blood on my face or anything. In his closing argument. Joanna's attorney Deontay Thomas said that if Joanna had only dialed nine one one none of them would even be there today. One simple thing what any of us even be. You're right now. Everything that she said matches up to what happens everything she saves matches up to the visible evidence. So this cold cops that whole they paraded attack me, and I had to defend myself. We wouldn't even be here. He said they gave so much background on Joanna's life to let them know, what her mindset was at the time. He said Joanna never thought she'd have to do what she did. He told them that the state didn't question Joanna about the evidence because they know the evidence directly fits her story. He said there was no premeditation and no deliberation. If she supposedly planned to this whole thing why not just shoot him dead. He asked in her closing arguments. Assistant DA Deborah sandals. Told the jury that Joanna lied to them during her testimony again, and again, this defendant talks, and talks and talks and outcomes. Falsehood, deception distortion and fabrication. She stood before you and put her hand on the bible. And she swore to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing, but the truth so help me God. And then she sat in that chair. And testified waved her rosary in your faces. And every time her lips moved. Another monstrous lie came out. She said Joanna wants you to believe that after shooting himself in the face and arm and bleeding profusely from his face that it was reasonable and necessary for her to kill Jose in order to save her life. She said that once they had already fatally been wounded Joanna got out from under him, according to her story and the only way those wounds in his back could have gotten there. She said was if Joanna then rammed the knife into his body five more times, this was first degree murder. She said. The jury had four options to consider first degree murder second degree murder voluntary manslaughter or not guilty by reason of self defense after about three hours of deliberations. The jury of seven men and five women reached their verdict. Ladies and gentlemen, of the jury your has returned in phone number one three Ciara. One five three six the state of North Carolina his river delta you the jury unanimously find the defendant. Join verte Madonna to be guilty of first degree murder. Joanna was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. And that's all for today's episode. As always I'd love to know what you think about today's case. What do you think happened on the night of June fifteenth two thousand thirteen do you think the prosecution presented enough evidence? Or did you believe Joanna's testimony? You can let me know by going to Instagram and finding me at court junkie where I've started to put up polls in my stories for each episode or you can always Email me at podcast at court junkie dot com or find me on Twitter and their two at court junkie pod. If you'd like to hear these episodes early and add free, please consider going to court junkie dot com slash support and donate as little as a dollar a month to this podcast. And please don't forget to check out the sponsors from today's episode, including book of the month club young. You said her husband asked her to lie to the police. He didn't want them to know where he was during the explosion that killed two people at their medical. Facility. But where was he this isn't today's case it's the plot of miracle creek and addictive new legal thriller from book of the month. Visit book of the month dot com for the best new thrillers and get your first book for five dollars with code junkie and one last thing if you're interested in hearing more from Joanna herself John Taylor's true crime podcast twisted podcast, interviewed her after the verdict L include a link to that interview in the show notes. Thanks again for listening until next time.

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