SAN ANTONIO – Key evidence and testimony from the defendant in an alleged murder-for-hire plot were all part of day two in the solicitation capital murder trial of Angelica Navarro-DePaz.
After a day of recess because of a sick juror, testimony began Thursday with the undercover officer who had meetups with Navarro-DePaz.
He said they met on two occasions, and the second meeting outside South Park Mall was where she paid him a down payment for a hit against her boyfriend’s sister.
Audio of that meeting was played for the jury.
In that audio, you can hear Navarro-DePaz speaking in Spanish, agreeing to the hit, and also inquiring about a second hit on a different person.
“She told me she had another lady that owed her $70,000, and she said right now she didn’t have the money to pay for it,” the undercover officer said.
Another twist in the case was revealed when SAPD Det. Manny Morales took the stand and said he had previously investigated an aggravated kidnapping where Navarro-DePaz was the alleged victim.
She claimed she was kidnapped from her home and driven to a house where she was doused with an accelerant and set on fire.
Morales said his investigation concluded that the home she was at was one of her rental properties, and he believed that she set the house on fire and was burned in the process.
“The facts didn’t add up to her story,” Morales said.
After concluding his testimony, the state rested, and the defense began their case by having Navarro-DePaz take the stand. She described how she met her boyfriend’s sister and what led to their fallout.
A hearing without the jury present then took place as the defense intended to ask Navarro-DePaz what she believed led to the alleged hit and claims of threats to Navarro-DePaz and her family.
Judge Melisa Skinner of the 437th District Court in Bexar County and the defense attorney went back and forth about the relevance of this testimony.
Skinner’s ruling that anything not having to do directly with the victim or the case could not be presented in court.
Testimony will continue Friday.
If found guilty, Navarro-DePaz faces 5 to 99 years or life in prison.