Scotts Bluff County Attorney Dave Eubanks told a Scotts Bluff County District Court jury Monday during opening arguments that Lucio Munoz’s belief that his girlfriend Melissa May was cheating on him led Munoz to stab May multiple times early the morning of New Years Eve of last year.
The 65 year old Munoz is accused of first degree murder in the slaying. The 48 year old May’s body was found in Munoz’ apartment January 3rd by Scottsbluff Police officers after a friend of the victim who lived at the apartments expressed concern she hadn’t seen either May or Munoz for several days.
While showing the jury a bloody photo he took of May as he found her early that morning, officer Tyler Webber indicated it appeared her throat was slit. Eubanks claimed in his opening argument that May had been stabbed 35 times.
Late the night of December 30th Munoz called officers to his apartment claiming May had been sexually assaulted by a man who lived down the hall. From video taken from Officer Dominick Peterson’s body camera Munoz became agitated when May said nothing happened. Officers four hours later took Munoz to the hospital because of a report he was acting suicidal.
Munoz arrested a few days later in Bradley, Illinois; where he had fled after being released from the hospital.
Meanwhile , Public Defender Bernie Straetker pointed out in his opening statement that no weapon was ever found, that no one ever saw the murder, and claimed the evidence is basically circumstantial.
Munoz’s trial is scheduled to last until Thursday; he is facing life in prison if convicted on the first degree murder charge.