Man faces new murder charge linked to wife


The ink on a judge's order dismissing the murder charge against Francisco Vazquez-Rosas didn't have time to dry before prosecutors re-indicted the defendant Thursday.

About 10 a.m., Judge James Bixler officially threw out the first murder indictment against Vazquez-Rosas because he said a grand jury considered a confession coerced by Las Vegas police.

By the afternoon, prosecutors presented evidence to another grand jury, which re-indicted Vazquez-Rosas on one count of murder related to his estranged wife.

Authorities allege Vazquez-Rosas choked his wife, Teresa Guzman, to death in December 2008 after an argument over their extramarital affairs and her desire to leave Las Vegas with their three children. Police believe Guzman's body ended up in a trash bin that was taken to the Apex landfill and probably will never be found.

Prosecutors had argued that even without the tainted confession, there was sufficient evidence presented to the first grand jury to sustain the murder indictment against Vazquez-Rosas.

While the evidence presented to the second grand jury was not immediately made public, prosecutors had Vazquez-Rosas' children, both under 7 years old at the time the incident is alleged to have occurred, testify before the first grand jury that they saw him kill their mother and dump her body in a trash bin.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Christopher Lalli said Thursday afternoon that the prosecution is still considering appealing Bixler's decision to the Nevada Supreme Court. Lalli said the appeal would be used to clarify some legal issues surrounding the dismissal of the first indictment.

Prosecutors rushed to the second grand jury after Bixler's ruling because Vazquez-Rosas is in the United States illegally and was facing deportation upon his release from jail. They were concerned if he was deported they would have missed their chance to try him on the murder charge.

According to jail records, Vazquez-Rosas remained in the Clark County Detention Center without bail late Thursday.

After learning about the second indictment Vazquez-Rosas' attorney, public defender Dan Silverstein, maintained that prosecutors don't have any substantial evidence against Vazquez-Rosas now that the confession has been thrown out.

"These have all been legal issues up until now. We haven't even gotten to a trial and the facts," Silverstein said.

Silverstein has previously questioned the veracity of the children's statements because of their youth and that one has changed her story at least once.

After Bixler's ruling, Silverstein said, "It's good to be in a jurisdiction that still respects the rights of illegal immigrants."

Vazquez-Rosas is scheduled to be arraigned in Bixler's courtroom Tuesday.

 

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