The jury is now deliberating the fate of 65 year old Lucio Munoz of Scottsbluff, accused of the first degree murder of then girlfriend Melissa May on New Year’s Eve of last year at the R.C. Scot Apartments in Scottsbluff.
Following closing arguments, the jury received the case for deliberation at 3:38 p.m. Thursday afternoon.
County attorney Dave Eubanks told the jury the evidence clearly “excluded everyone but the defendant “. Eubanks emphasized the victim was found stabbed multiple times in Munoz’ apartment, he lied to Police about her leaving the apartment, left the area quickly after the slaying, and statements to his son,brother, and Police that amounted to a confession. Eubanks also maintained Munoz’ actions were emphasized and backed a first degree murder conviction
Public defender Bernie Straetker argued for nothing more that voluntary manslaughter, claiming the slaying could have happened in a dispute over the victim’s faithfulness. Straetker also said there were no witnesses, no direct admission by the defendant and no weapon was recovered.
Earlier in the day, DNA analyst Shannon Bishop from the UNMC Lab testified that her tests showed May did not have sex on the night she was killed.
Scottsbluff Police have testified Munoz told them just hours before the slaying that May had been sexually assaulted, and he became agitated when an intoxicated May said nothing had happened.
Munoz later indicated to several people he thought May had been cheating on him, which Eubanks maintained in his opening statement is the motive for the killing.