A man accused of killing his wife days after they were married has been found guilty.
It only took jurors a few hours to convict Michel Escoto of first-degree murder after about listening to about a month of testimony during the trial.
Escoto was accused of killing his wife, Wendy Trapaga, in 2002 to collect her $1 million life insurance policy.
It was the latest antic by Escoto after about a month of testimony often punctuated by dramatic disruptions.
Escoto’s ex-girlfriend, Yolanda Cerrillo, testified that she helped him plot his new bride’s death. Throughout his cross examination, assistant state attorney Gail Levine raised an objection and called him “obnoxious” as he attempted to defend himself.
Then there was the moment when Escoto threatened a witness who surmised that he killed his wife to collect her life insurance money. The judge held him in contempt of court.
His actions prompted Levine to call him “a time bomb waiting to explode.” She then asked that the configuration of the room be changed so she wasn’t pinned against the wall in case he lashed out again.
Judge Marisa Tinkler Mendez warned against any outbursts before the verdict was read.
Trapaga’s mother cried after learning the verdict.
Escoto was then fingerprinted and led out of the courtroom in handcuffs.
His sentencing date was set for May 7. He could face life in prison.
If you, a friend or a family member find themselves in a situation such as this, please call the Law Office of Scott A. Ferris, P.A. at 305 670-3330 right away. Scott A. Ferris, Esq. is a licensed criminal law attorney who has been practicing law since 1987. He is available whenever you need him to defend your rights. Please learn about our firm at www.FerrisLawFirm.com.