Michel Escoto asks ex-girlfriend if she thought he smelled

Judge dismisses juror in murder trial for man accused of killing wife days after getting married

MIAMI - A man accused of killing his wife less than a week after they were married asked his ex-girlfriend Tuesday if she thought he smelled.

Michel Escoto is accused of killing his wife, Wendy Trapaga, in 2002 to collect her $1 million life insurance policy. He has been acting as his own attorney throughout his murder trial.

Escoto's first witness was Yolanda Cerrillo, who previously testified that she helped Escoto practice killing Trapaga. She was granted immunity in exchange for her testimony.

"Am I a particularly smelly person to your knowledge?" Escoto asked Cerrillo about his appearance the day after Trapaga's death.

"You had not shaven," Cerrillo replied. "You smelled. I don't think you had showered. You looked depressed."

Escoto also questioned her about who called 911 and when.

"Was that in order to incriminate me, ma'am?" Escoto asked.

"That is not what I said," Cerrillo replied. "I never said that. I said that I thought that I called you. I was scared. I was frantic. I was driving around. I didn't want to be there."

Also Tuesday, a juror who failed to disclose that she was an active witness in her daughter's sex abuse investigation was dismissed from the trial.

"She lied to the court," Judge Marisa Tinkler Mendez said. "She was disingenuous."

An alternate juror took her place.

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