DES MOINES, Iowa – Prosecutors are asking a judge to make a pre-trial ruling on whether some testimony in the murder trial of Marvin Escobar-Orellana is admissible as evidence.
Escobar-Orellana is charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the July 2019 deaths of Rossibeth Flores-Rodriguez, Grecia Alvarado-Flores, and Ever Mejia-Flores. The mother and her two children lived in the basement of the home they shared with Escobar-Orellana and his family, who lived on the main floor.
According to court documents, Escobar-Orellana claimed that Flores-Rodriguez shot her two children and he shot her in self-defense.
In the motion filed March 30th, prosecutors asked the judge to make a ruling ahead of the April 12th trial on whether testimony from multiple witnesses about statements Flores-Rodriguez made can be admitted as evidence and not hearsay.
According to the filing, Flores-Rodriguez expressed fears for her safety in the home and was trying to leave. She also claimed Escobar-Orellana sexually harassed her and tried to initiate a sexual relationship with her.
The motion also asks that witness statements about Flores-Rodriguez’ past behavior be admitted, saying it allows them to rebut “the defendant’s claim that the victim killed her two children, and that he then killed her in self-defense.”
Officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement say Escobar-Orellana is an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala. He had been living in the U.S. under the name Marvin Oswaldo Esquivel-Lopez and had been deported from the U.S. twice before. He was convicted of illegal entry into the United States in 2010.