HOUSTON - A woman attacked her boyfriend in a fit of rage, sat on him after knocking him down and then stabbed him to death with the stiletto heel of her shoe, striking him at least 25 times in the face, a prosecutor told jurors Monday.
The lawyer for 45-year-old Ana Trujillo, however, said it was her client who was attacked, and she defended herself from 59-year-old Alf Stefan Andersson using the only weapon she had available.
Testimony began Monday in Trujillo's murder trial. Prosecutors say she killed Andersson, who was a University of Houston professor and researcher, during an argument at his condominium in June. She is free on a $100,000 bond.
During opening statements, prosecutor Sarah Mickelson said Trujillo had a history of being angry and aggressive in her contentious on-again, off-again relationship with Andersson, a native of Sweden who became a U.S. citizen.
Mickelson said that earlier in June, Andersson and Trujillo, 45, a native of Mexico, had reconciled.
The prosecutor described Andersson as mild-mannered and quiet, and Trujillo as hot-tempered.
On the night of the slaying, the couple was out drinking before they returned to Andersson's apartment. Mickelson said Trujillo got angry after arriving home and that the two began arguing.
Mickelson told jurors that during the confrontation, Andersson was injured and fell on his back. Trujillo sat on Andersson, preventing him from getting up, and repeatedly struck him in the face and head with her shoe, she said.
"The one thing we can be sure of in this case is that Ana Trujillo is not a victim. Ana Trujillo struck Stefan Andersson 25 times with the heel of her shoe while he lay on the floor and bled out," Mickelson said.
Trujillo's attorney, John Carroll, described Andersson as an alcoholic who would become violent toward Trujillo. He said on the night of Andersson's death, Trujillo planned to leave him and go to a friend's house, but Andersson slammed her against a wall, grabbed her and threw her over a couch.
"She couldn't breathe. And she was begging and begging [Andersson] to let her go. ... He started suffocating her.... She did the only thing she could do, take a weapon at her disposal, which was a shoe, and started hitting him," Carroll said.
Rosemary Gomez, a cab driver who drove Trujillo and Andersson back to his condominium on the night of the slaying told jurors she had picked up the couple from a Houston bar.
Gomez said that during the short drive home, Trujillo was belligerent toward her, cursing as she tried to tell Gomez what streets to take. Gomez said Andersson was embarrassed by Trujillo's behavior and that "he never cursed. He never got out of line."
Gomez said she told Andersson, "You need to be careful. Your friend is out of control."
"He got my hand and squeezed it and said, 'l'll be OK,'" Gomez said.
Gomez testified she was so worried for Andersson that she got out of her cab, held Andersson's hands and prayed for him.
Other witnesses for prosecutors described Andersson as a kind, polite man who had a drinking problem.
Testimony was to resume Tuesday. The trial was expected to last at least a week.