LUBBOCK, Texas – Opening statements began Tuesday in the murder of trial of Juan Carlos Gallardo.

Gallardo, 47, is accused of killing his girlfriend Yvette Ellis, 28, in January 2017.

“Through the initial investigation it appears there was a verbal argument between Ellis and Gallardo. A firearm was brought out and the two began to struggle over the firearm. During the struggle, the firearm discharged once and Ellis was struck and killed,” a January 2017 news release from the Lubbock Police Department said.

LPD said Gallardo called 911 to report the shooting.

During opening statements on Tuesday, the prosecution told the court that Ellis “was a mother of four beautiful children. She had a bubbly personality and was loved. Her life came to an end at the hand of the defendant, Juan Gallardo.”

The prosecution said Ellis had been previously seen with injuries to the face and neck, consistent with domestic violence.

They said her shooting death was no accident and the victim was “on her knees and executed in her own kitchen.”

The jury was also shown the LPD video interview of Gallardo.

During that interview, Gallardo told LPD they were arguing. He was threatening to kill himself, if it would make Ellis happy.

Gallardo said there was a scuffle and the gun discharged. He said he didn’t know how the gun discharged or who discharged it in the scuffle.

He told police that when realized the gun had fired and the victim had been shot, he began freaking out.

Gallardo claimed that when the gun went off, both he and Ellis were standing. Court documents said Ellis died from a gunshot wound to the back of the head.

Testimony was set to continue on Wednesday.

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