The Denver District Attorney's Office charged Francesca Pagliasotti with being an accessory to first-degree murder stemming from the October 2010 murder of Alicia Martinez. While they do not believe she helped in the actual murder, they do believe she helped her husband clean up an incredibly bloody crime scene inside the couple's house on in the 4100 block of North Decatur Street.
During Wednesday's opening statements, prosecutors outlined for the first time publicly many of the graphic details of the case. At one point, prosecutor Henry Cooper told the jury that investigators believe Pagliasotti and her husband Edward Timothy Romero worked together to try to conceal evidence by using, among other things, a kitchen blender to chop up some of the smaller pieces of Martinez's body.
Prosecutors believe Romero, who goes by Tim, shot Martinez twice in the head while the two were in Romero's garage on Oct. 22, 2010. They also believe that Pagliasotti - Romero's girlfriend at the time - was not home at the time of the shooting but came home only to discover Romero trying to chop up the body inside the garage.
The following morning, according to Cooper, Pagliasotti "[got] a mop and a bucket, and she [started] mopping up the blood."
Romero and Pagliasotti have two children together.
Martinez's mother will be a witness for the prosecution and thus was unable to sit in the audience for opening statements, but she told 9NEWS beforehand she wouldn't have wanted to hear most of the graphic details regardless.
Defense attorney Craig Mastro told the jury Pagliasotti's willingness to help her husband was the direct result of brutal physical and mental abuse.
"Tim Romero and Tim Romero alone shoots and kills Alicia Martinez," Mastro said during his opening statements. "In his sick mind he decides alone to get rid of the body."
Mastro outlined what he says was a systematic and sadistic effort by Romero to treat his wife like his "dog," and told the jury that over the years Pagliasotti had been subject to rape as well as a knife wound to her back.
"She was scared; she was unbelievably scared," Mastro said.
He told the jury that she actually feared for her own life had she decided not to help Romero.
The trial is expected to last into next week.
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