Expert Witness in Newlywed Murder Trial: There May Have Been Two Killers - NBC 6 South Florida

Expert Witness in Newlywed Murder Trial: There May Have Been Two Killers



    It was a contentious day in a Miami courtroom today, as Michel Escoto, introduced new evidence and experts in the trial accusing him of killing his wife. Hank Tester has the latest courtroom drama. (Published Friday, April 11, 2014)

    The trial of a man accused of brutally killing his new bride to collect on a $1 million insurance policy continued Friday, as the suspect sought to make the case that his wife's death was caused by two people. 

    Michel Escoto is charged with first-degree murder in the October 2002 killing of Wendy Trapaga. Prosecutors say he bludgeoned his 21-year-old wife to death after just four days of marriage in October 2002, shortly after the two took out a $1 million policy on her life. 

    But Escoto, who is representing himself, presented an alternate theory into Trapaga's death Friday. He introduced photographs and testimony from an expert witness he said suggest she was not beaten to death with a tire iron by a single killer, as prosecutors say, but stomped to death by two people. 

    Dr. Werner Spitz, a forensic pathologist who testified in the Casey Anthony trial, offered testimony that there may have been "more than one assailant in this case."

    State prosecutors objected, saying Werner never made those claims in pre-trial discovery. 

    "We are on day 21 of this trial, day 21 and this is the day I get it? He should not be allowed to do it. That is willful violation of discovery," Gail Levine said. 

    The judge sided with the prosecution, directing Spitz not to mention the stomping theory. He instead said "a tire iron such as this would break a skull into little pieces," using a skull as a prop to show "Wendy Trapaga did not have a fractured skull. 

    "Did a tire iron cause these injuries? My answer is no," he said.