The witness in a murder trial said her brother told her the devil made him kill a woman in 2002.
Myriam Virgen testified she had left candles burning in the four corners of her apartment near North Stone Avenue and West Fort Lowell Road in September 2002 to rid the domicile of “bad vibrations.” After lighting the candles, she left to visit her mother.
When she returned, her brother, who at the time was living with her, confessed.
Saul Virgen is on trial in Pima County Superior Court. He’s accused of stabbing Herlinda Pariseau to death in 2002. He’s already serving a 20-year prison sentence for a 2008 stabbing death.
“That the devil had gotten into him and he attacked a woman,” Myriam Virgen answered Deputy Pima County Attorney Nicol Green’s question about what her brother had said. Virgen said her brother told her he approached a woman near a convenience store at North Stone Avenue and West Fort Lowell to ask the time.
“She got scared and panicked and he attacked her,” the sister testified.
Pariseau, 58, was found stabbed to death near a wash on Stone Avenue.
On the night she was killed, Pariseau had called 911 from a pay phone to report a man harassing her. On the tape she told the operator she could see the man walking behind a market across Stone Avenue.
Defense attorney George Erickson questioned her motivation for coming forward, saying Myriam Virgen was angry that Saul Virgen and her other brother Jose Virgen pleaded guilty in the 2008 stabbing.
“And that’s when you decided to say Saul was involved in the killing,” Erickson said. She answered yes.
Green also questioned whether Myriam Virgen had ever planned to speak with police, noting she first told her sisters-in-law about her brother’s confession.
Myriam Virgen said she spoke with police only because two homicide detectives showed up at a meeting with her probation officer in 2011.
In his opening statements, Erickson argued police could not find concrete evidence linking his client to the killing. The trial continues today.
Contact reporter Patrick McNamara at 573-4241 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @pm929.
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