Ballesteros' Defense For Murder Is "Crime of Passion"

The murder trial of Steve Ballesteros, 43, of Lubbock, started with opening arguments on Wednesday.
By Anne Parker, Posted By James Clark

LUBBOCK, TX -- The murder trial of Steve Ballesteros, 43, of Lubbock, started with opening arguments on Wednesday.  Ballesteros is accused of strangling his ex-girlfriend to death.

In opening statements, the prosecution said that the night of April 12, 2012 Maria Perez, a mother of four children, came home late.

Court documents show Ballesteros accused her of cheating and he strangled her in the bedroom.  Prosecution says that he told her 4 children to leave their mom alone while she sleeps.

The next day two of Perez’ children asked the apartment maintenance men for help to wake their mom up.

One of the maintenance men testified and prosecutors played audio of his 911 call.  In the call he said she was cold and unresponsive.

The prosecution says Ballesteros’ jealousy issues caused him to intentionally take Perez’ life.

While police were at the crime scene they claim Ballesteros drove by saying. “Here I am. Come get me.”

The defense countered the prosecution arguments by saying Ballesteros and Perez had had infidelity issues for 3 years.  The Defense argued that this is truly a crime of passion.  When Ballesteros suspected she was cheating he snapped and didn’t realize it until it was too late.

An LPD officer who documented the crime scene said based on his observations and facial markings everything is consistent to strangulation.  A doctor from the Medical Examiner’s office testified that it is a homicide from strangulation.

The District Attorney’s office decided to not bring Perez’ children in as witnesses.

Testimony was still underway late Wednesday afternoon.

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