"Mr. [Edward] Romero has no recollection of what happened. None. For him, the tape skipped," defense attorney Arnold Beckman said during opening statements of the first-degree murder trial that is expected to last at least a couple of weeks.
Beckman urged the jury to "put aside the raw emotion" and to find Romero not guilty by reason of insanity.
Prosecutors say on Oct. 22, 2010, Romero shot and killed 16-year-old Alicia Martinez inside his grandmother's garage near 41st and Decatur in northwest Denver. They also believe that over the course of two days, he attempted to cut up the body so finely that it would be unrecognizable.
"It was his plan to flush Alicia down the toilet piece by piece," Denver prosecutor Henry Cooper said. "The defendant begins to mutilate and cut Alicia's body up in a way that's unimaginable."
Romero's defense will not try to deny that he committed the crime. Instead, they will try to argue at trial that Romero had a long history of suffering blackouts - periods of time his friends and family called "episodes."
Beckman told the jury that a psychologist who reviewed Romero before trial determined he suffered from a dis-associative disorder that came about due to abuse he suffered as a child.
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)