The murder trial of Juan Rosario continues into its second day of testimony in a Orange-Osceola Circuit courtroom on Tuesday. His ex-girlfriend is scheduled to take the stand.
Rosario, a 29-year-old Floridian, may get the death penalty for allegedly beating his 83-year-old neighbor Elena Ortega to death in September 2013. Investigators say he stole items from her home, and started a fire to hide the evidence. Rosario faces charges of first-degree murder and arson. He is already serving 18 years in prison for a 2013 home invasion robbery that happened 10 houses down from the victim’s home.
Ex-girlfriend Janet Gutierrez is scheduled to testify on Tuesday for the prosecution. During Monday’s opening statement, Assistant State Attorney Ryan Williams said she claimed that Rosario arrived home with blood on his face, and told her that the owner saw him when he broke into a house. He allegedly said he had to go back and burn the evidence. Defense lawyer Roger Weeden countered by saying Gutierrez was an unreliable witness. For example, he claimed she changed her story.
Also on Monday, Ortega’s daughter, Elena Wilson, testified for the prosecution.