The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

National News

April 12, 2014

Woman gets life in prison in stiletto heel slaying

(Continued)

HOUSTON —

Carroll had asked jurors to find that his client acted in the heat of sudden passion, which would have limited her sentence to between two and 20 years. Carroll asked jurors to give her a two-year sentence.

"Ms. Trujillo needs mercy right now," he said. During Carroll's closing argument, Trujillo began crying.

Prosecutors argued Friday that Trujillo didn't kill Andersson in a moment of sudden passion but that his slaying was a vicious murder in which she pinned him down and repeatedly stabbed him with her shoe while he never fought back.

During their deliberations Friday, jurors asked to look at several pieces of evidence, including the blue suede stiletto heel — a size 9 platform pump. They reached agreement on a sentence after 4½ hours of deliberations, and also found that the crime was not done in the heat of sudden passion.

Trujillo took the witness stand on Thursday, telling jurors that she was forced to kill Andersson to save her own life during a more than hourlong fight after being chased down, knocked into a wall and thrown over a couch.

During about seven hours of rambling testimony, she testified that she had no idea she had hurt Andersson so badly until she reached for him and realized her hands were full of blood.

Carroll maintained Friday that Trujillo killed Andersson in "pure self-defense" and that "she did what she had to."

"The fact she took a stiletto to his face 25 times and then paraded around town like she's the victim, that's insulting," prosecutor Sarah Mickelson said during closing arguments.

Trujillo also testified she had been repeatedly abused by men and sexually assaulted, and that Andersson was a heavy drinker who would get angry with her.

Witnesses presented by prosecutors in the punishment phase detailed Trujillo's criminal history or firsthand experiences in which she became violent toward them when she drank. Trujillo was arrested twice for drunk driving. She had been drinking the night of Andersson's death but her blood alcohol level was not tested, according to testimony.

During the trial, prosecutors highlighted that Trujillo, a native of Mexico, did not have any injuries from her confrontation with Andersson while the researcher had defensive wounds on his hands and wrists. Trujillo's attorneys argued she had been injured.

Witnesses, including family and friends, said Andersson, a native of Sweden who became a U.S. citizen, had a drinking problem, but they described him as mild-mannered, quiet and never violent.

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