In May 2010, prosecutors say, Marisol Ramon was a content single mother living in Miami Lakes, about to board a cruise ship with her family.
Then, her on-again-off-again ex-boyfriend, Roque Torres, shot her to death inside his sports utility vehicle, Miami-Dade prosecutor Lara Penn told jurors Thursday in the opening of his murder trial.
“He is charged with second-degree murder,” she said. “Find him guilty.”
But defense attorneys painted another portrait of Ramon, describing her asa jealous, possessive mistress who actually shot herself – accidentally during a struggle over a pistol, or in a suicide — during an argument with her married lover inside his SUV.
“It’s not a homicide,” defense attorney Alex Michaels told jurors. “It never was and never will be. Period!”
Both sides agreed that afterward, Torres, 64, did something egregious. He abandoned his blood-soaked car, but not before dumping Ramon’s body along a rural road just south of Palm Beach County.
“Like a piece of garbage,” Penn said.
Torres then fled to Central America, where he was later arrested in Nicaragua. “You may hate him what he did afterward,” Michaels told jurors. “I told him myself, I don’t think it’s nice what you did.”
Torres is charged with second-degree murder with a firearm.
Detectives had long suspected Torres in the vanishing of Ramon, 40, who had dated the man for two years before learning he was married. Even though his wife found out about the affair, Torres continued to see Ramon, who was studying at a Hialeah beauty school.
Michaels insisted that Ramon’s obsession with her lover grew extreme. On May 26, 2010, she called him eight times, and they later met at a Miami Lakes strip mall, an event captured on video surveillance.
Ramon’s family has long told reporters that Torres was the one who stalked her.
That night, she left her car parked in the lot, never taking her cell phone or purse, and got into his SUV. What happened afterward remains shrouded in mystery. She vanished. So did Torres, whose SUV was soon found abandoned in Fort Myers.
The blood evidence showed Ramon had been sitting in the passenger seat when she was shot. Her near-skeletal remains were later found.
The trial continues Friday before Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Eric Hendon.