While the third defendant’s trial is ongoing, Texas prosecutors have dropped murder charges against two of the individuals involved in the deadly stabbing of a 23-year-old Seattle woman.
When two of the individuals detained in Marisela Botello-Valadez’s 2020 murder removed their ankle monitors and fled the nation while out on bond, the case garnered attention from all over the world last year. The charges were dropped just a few days after a man in Texas disconnected his ankle monitor and went on a shooting spree, raising concerns once again about the use of technology to liberate individuals before trials.
Lisa Dykes is still accused of murder; her trial started last week and ended on Monday. However, according to recently made public court documents, a judge granted the prosecution’s Friday requests to drop the murder charges against the other lady and the man who are also accused of killing Botello-Valadez “in the interest of justice.”
When contacted by phone and email on Monday, a representative of the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office failed to provide an explanation for the dismissal of the murder charges against Nina Marano and Charles Anthony Beltran. In relation to the killing of Botello-Valadez, whose remains were discovered in the woods months after she was reported missing in Dallas, they are all still facing charges of tampering with evidence.
In response to requests for comment from The Associated Press by phone and email, the attorneys representing the two and Dykes did not reply. The Dallas Morning News was informed by a lawyer for Marano, 52, and Dykes, 60, that he anticipated the dismissals due to Beltran’s patchy version of events.
In his testimony on Friday, Beltran, 34, said he shared a home with Dykes and Marano. He claimed that after meeting Botello-Valadez at a nightclub, they proceeded to his place and engaged in sexual activity. He claimed that while Dykes stabbed Botello-Valadez, he went to sleep and woke up to shouting. Beltran admitted lying to investigators about what had happened at first when pressed by Dykes’s attorney.