by Victor Lopez
ODESSA--35-year-old Michael "Spider" Gonzales was convicted of stabbing his elderly neighbors to death back in 1994. He got the deathy penalty, but that was overturned, when testimony from a state expert was thrown out. Now it's up to new jurors to decide what his fate will be.
The sparks started flying early Monday morning inside Judge Bill McCoy's 358th District Court. Gonzales had to be physically removed from the courtroom twice for public outburts. And that was just in the first couple of hours of testimony.
Both incidents happened while Gonzales' wife, 31-year-old Martha Reyes, was on the stand tesitifying for the prosecution. Perhaps the most shocking came as defense attorneys were asking Reyes, if she knew what had happened to some former acquaintances of Gonzales.
As Reyes said no, Gonzales blurted out a threat.
Judge McCoy had the jury removed, Gonzales handcuffed and shackled and removed from the court as well. On his way out, Gonzales made another verbal attack on his wife.
After a brief recess, Judge McCoy allowed Gonzales to come back into the courtroom, provided he was respectful and kept quiet.
After the last outburst, Martha Reyes was excused from the stand. The jury then heard from the medical examiner who performed the autopsies on the Aguirre's.
The 12 jurors and 2 alternates were shown pictures of the autopsies. The medical examiner said Manuel Aguirre suffered at least 20 stab wounds while his wife Merced suffered over 80. He also described the scene as one that reflected brutatlity, violent deaths, and over kill.
While Michael Gonzales was being escorted in and out of the court room, he was smiling and even making conversation with the prosecuting attorneys. At one point he commented on what a beautiful day it was and then started laughing.
Testimony will continue Tuesday morning at 9:00 a.m.