Defense lawyer links killing of San Antonio woman left burning on road to Aryan Brotherhood
Jurors in a cold case murder trial heard prosecutors say Tuesday the gruesome killing and burning of a woman who was left on a Southeast Bexar County road in 2015 was the result of an abusive relationship, while the defense alleges it was the work of the Aryan Brotherhood.
The trial of Antonio Nuñez Jr., opened Tuesday in San Antonio. He was 61 when he was arrested in January 2017, about a year and a half after authorities found the body of Lisa R. Carter, 47.
Authorities were called around 4:45 a.m. Aug. 17, 2015, to the 8200 block of South W.W. White Road in Southeast Bexar County where a man on his way to work saw a burning body on the side of the road.
The case went cold until authorities were able to positively identify the woman Dec. 19, 2016, more than a year after her death.
Nunez was arrested in January 2017 after a witness and a relative both told Bexar County sheriff’s investigators that Nuñez admitted killing his ex-girlfriend, dumping her body, dousing it with gasoline and setting it on fire. An affidavit released at the time said the relative told investigators Nuñez asked for help in disposing the body.
Evidence presented to jurors showed the charred remains were found covered with a tarp; the hands and feet had wire wrapped around them, although they were not bound together; and a metal clamp was around her neck.
BCSO officials said Carter was identified via DNA testing, a partial fingerprint and jewelry recovered from the body and at the scene.
The Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Carter’s death likely was caused by a head injury and possible asphyxia.
The couple allegedly had an abusive relationship. Records indicate Nuñez was arrested April 6, 2015, for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly assaulting Carter, but the case was dismissed in July 2015, the affidavit said.
Prosecutor Leo Gonzalez told the panel in his opening statement that evidence would show Nunez committed the killing.
Defense attorney John Economidy said jurors would find that witnesses were coerced into making their statements. He also alleged the involvement of a person he described as a known member of the Aryan Brotherhood who lived near where the body was found.
Judge Laura Parker is presiding over the case in Felony Impact Court. If convicted, Nuñez, now 63, faces five to 99 years or life in prison.
Elizabeth Zavala is a courts and crime reporter in the San Antonio and Bexar County area. Read her on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | email@example.com | Twitter: @elizabeth2863