Alberto Cruz took the stand on Thursday, May 19, and told the jury that he did not strangle 22-year-old Alma Del Real the morning that she died.
Instead, Cruz said he placed his hands around Del Real’s neck because he “was tired of being there,” WSBT reported.
Cruz told the jury that he and Del Real got into an argument after having sex. He cried as he said he pushed Del Real down and she lost consciousness, our news partners ABC 57 reported.
He admitted to taking her body to Marshall County and leaving it there.
Cruz’s attorney argued that a series of events led to Del Real’s death and that Cruz did not murder her. Instead, the defense argues that Del Real died in a reckless homicide.
Cruz is charged with murder, but the jury can convict him of murder, voluntary manslaughter or reckless homicide, or decide that he is not guilty, ABC 57 reported.
Closing arguments in the case happened at noon. The jury began deliberations at 1:30 p.m.
- FIRST DAY OF TESTIMONY: Prosecutors review Cruz’s statements to police in month following Del Real’s disappearance
- SECOND DAY OF TESTIMONY: Prosecutors focus on Cruz’s confession and cell phone tracking