HOUSTON (AP) — A woman convicted of murder for stabbing her Swedish-born boyfriend to death with a 5 ½-inch (14 centimeter) stiletto shoe heel testified Thursday that she had a history of being abused by men, and told jurors that her first husband sexually assaulted her.
Ana Trujillo took the witness stand for the first time during the two-week trial as part of the punishment phase, which will determine her sentence. She faces the possibility of life in prison.
Trujillo began her testimony by telling jurors about being born in Mexico, growing up in Arizona, being sexually assaulted by her first husband, and her divorce.
"What happened when we became divorced, he lost it and didn't want to lose me," Trujillo said of her ex-husband.
The jury convicted Trujillo on Tuesday of murder in last June's killing of 59-year-old Alf Stefan Andersson at his home. Prosecutors say she pinned him down and stabbed him at least 25 times with the heel of her shoe.
Trujillo's attorneys say Andersson attacked her and she defended herself with the only weapon she had available, her shoe.
On Wednesday, prosecutors presented 19 witnesses during the trial's punishment phase. Most of the witnesses detailed Trujillo's criminal history or firsthand experiences in which she became violent toward them when she drank. Trujillo was arrested twice for drunken driving, once in 2008 and again in 2010. A former friend of Trujillo's told jurors that in 2009 she knocked him out after hitting him with a candlestick in an unprovoked attack.
But Trujillo testified Thursday that she used the candlestick to fend off the man's attempt to sexually assault her.
A psychologist testifying for the defense told jurors Trujillo had been in a series of violent or abusive relationships, including with Andersson, and she was acting in self-defense on the night of the slaying.
Jurors on Wednesday also heard from Andersson's family and friends, who testified that he was a good person who wouldn't hesitate to help anyone and that they were still trying to understand his violent death.