DuPage County jury to get 2013 Glen Ellyn murder case
A 12-member DuPage County jury will decide Thursday whether Myron Ester murdered his girlfriend in a planned attack over infidelity or whether Ester was defending himself against a belligerent and intoxicated Linda Valez during a romantic night gone bad.
Ester, 50, is charged with five counts of first-degree murder and one count of concealment of a homicidal death.
Both sides rested their case Wednesday after testimony by Ester, in which he claimed self-defense in an unprovoked knife attack from Valez, and witnesses testified to Valez's temper and run-ins with the law.
Wheaton police Sgt. James Craig testified he arrested Valez about a month before her Sept. 24, 2013, death and charged her with aggravated assault after she refused to leave the Wheaton Library, where the staff had accused her of being intoxicated and causing a disturbance.
"She seemed to be intoxicated. She was agitated," Craig testified Wednesday. "She was belligerent and screaming and cursing at me."
He said she also waved a fist in his face after he told Valez he was detaining her.
Prosecutors say Ester stabbed the 33-year-old Valez 39 times and left her body in a shallow grave that he dug earlier in the day in Panfish Park on the night of Sept. 24, 2013.
Prosecutors said Valez, a mother of seven, was stabbed in the face, neck and torso. An autopsy uncovered 39 wounds, including defensive marks on her arms.
The next day, Ester visited a longtime friend in Naperville and confessed to the killing, but she never called police. Ester was arrested at her home on Sept. 29.
Ester, however, maintains he and Valez had a "toxic relationship" fraught with arguments and that he dug the hole in the Glen Ellyn park to prepare a firepit for a romantic night under the stars for the homeless couple "to make up for" a rough previous few days in their relationship.
He said Valez attacked him with a knife during their walk to the park and that he stabbed her several times after wrestling the knife away for her because he feared for her life.
If convicted, Ester faces a sentence of natural life in prison. He has been held without bail since his Sept. 29 2013 arrest.
Closing arguments are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Thursday.