INDIO, Calif.- - Jury selection began today for the trial of a man accused of killing his roommate, who died at a hospital within hours of being found with traumatic injuries at her Thousand Palms mobile home.
Juan Sanchez Inzunza, 34, was arrested eight days after the June 3, 2014, death of 56-year-old Victoria Supola, and charged with murder, assault by force likely to produce great bodily injury and a misdemeanor count of resisting arrest.
Sheriff's Investigator Sean Freeman testified at Inzunza's preliminary hearing that a neighbor heard a scream, then saw Supola -- who often let people stay in her mobile home in the 77-700 block of Pacheta Square -- lying half out of the trailer, with marks on her neck.
The neighbor stayed with Supola until firefighters arrived. The victim had trouble breathing and speaking, and complained of chest pain. She told firefighters and paramedics ``that her roommate, Juan, did it,'' Freeman testified.
The investigator said the doctor who performed the autopsy told him the marks on Supola's neck were superficial, and her death was caused by a ruptured artery that carries blood to the kidneys.
"He told me it was likely from a forceful blow to the front of her body," Freeman said.
Freeman said a neighbor told investigators that he went to Supola's trailer on the day of her death to finish a maintenance project, and Inzunza told him Supola had suffered a stroke. The man told investigators he saw Supola lying face-down in her bedroom, then Inzunza repeatedly struck him on the back of the head before he made it back to his own trailer, Freeman said.
A deputy spotted Inzunza, who was wanted for questioning, in the area the following week, and the defendant tried to flee, the sheriff's investigator said.
After he was arrested, Inzunza said in the patrol car that "when he was high he couldn't remember what he had done or where he was at," Freeman said. He said a blood sample showed Inzunza was under the influence of methamphetamine and marijuana at the time.
Inzunza is being held without bail.
Noticias en español: Telemundo 15