Jury views murder weapon, bloodied crime scene in Autauga Co mur - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Jury views murder weapon, bloodied crime scene in Autauga Co murder trial

(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)

Opening statements began Tuesday morning in a 2015 Autauga County murder case

The state is tasked with proving beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant Vegas Contorno intentionally killed her boyfriend, Remington Foradori at their home in Prattville in 2015. Foradori died of a single stab wound to the chest. 

At the time of the incident, both Contorno and Foradori were 19-years-old and had a 3-month-old child together. 

The defense team, Susan James and Jeff Duffy, argued Contorno was in an abusive relationship, and fatally stabbed Foradori in self-defense. 

In opening statements, prosecutor Kristy Peoples told the jury Contorno had physically abused Foradori before the deadly night of August 7, 2015. Peoples explained Contorno's graduation of physical force with Foradori, including what she described as a severe cut to his arm, and breaking a shot glass over his head.  Peoples promised the jury they would hear from Foradori’s family, friends and co-workers who witnessed this violence or the physical evidence of violence on Foradori’s body.  

Defense attorney Jeff Duffy explained to the jury Contorno’s family too witnessed cuts, scratches and bruises on her body and even attempted to move her out of the home with Foradori, for her own safety.  Duffy stated Contorno and Foradori’s three-month-old child was premature, and had special needs that consumed the young parents.  Duffy says, on the night of the stabbing, Contorno asked Foradori to help with the baby’s diaper, and he refused.  When he came near the baby, she swatted him away, he "went ballistic," and a physical fight ensued.  Contorno went to the kitchen to get a knife to scare Foradori, and when he grabbed her by the wrist, the knife ended up in his chest.  Duffy said he ripped her earrings out, hit her with a lamp and threatened to kill her.

Witness testimony from their next door neighbor explained Contorno ran to his house, banging on the door and ringing the doorbell asking for help.  The neighbor explained he saw Foradori’s body on the street by his truck.  The neighbor testified he called 911, and stayed with Foradori until the ambulance arrived while Contorno went to get the baby.  The state played the 911 tape for the jury, to hear the neighbor’s testimony matched his call to first responders.  

The case agent and the crime scene expert also testified to what they observed on the scene.  The jury saw the bloodied kitchen knife and gruesome crime scene pictures that showed Foradori’s bloody trail from the dining room, where investigators believe he was stabbed.  The knife showed markings from a deep cut through Foradori’s chest.  Foradori’s family sobbed and held each other as they saw the crime scene photos.

Prattville Police Investigator Richard White unsealed the evidence envelopes that held Contorno’s earrings, one recovered in the living room floor, the other near the bed in the master bedroom.  The defense asked White if there was evidence of a struggle, and he said yes.  The knife was recovered on the dining room table.  

Prattville Police Investigator Melissa Jones testified about her contact with Contorno.  The state played a recording of Jones’ interview with Contorno, where Contorno stated she was with the baby and heard Foradori moan in the kitchen.  When she went to check on him, he was bleeding and she went to get help.  When Jones asked Cortorno about bruises and scratches on her body, she stated it was from their new puppy, and other incidents. Contorno told her they were happy and loved each other, but they fought like every other couple, going as far to suggest they had a "good day" together.  

Jones stated she didn’t believe Contorno’s story about her injuries nor her account of the stab wound, stating, “She explained it [the stabbing] like she was there.”  Jones also stated Contorno’s emotions didn’t seem genuine, forcing the emotions of being upset or sad.  

Jones stated Contorno agreed to go to police headquarters for another interview.  A video from that interview showed Contorno changing her story, stating she didn’t want to get Foradori in trouble – asking if he was going to go to jail.  The story changed to a struggle between the couple, she suggested Foradori worked the night shift and spent the day cutting the grass and making home repairs as his mother was coming to visit and help with the baby.  That night he had been up 24 hours and refused to help with the baby’s diaper.  After she wouldn't let him kiss the baby a violent struggle began, resulting in the stabbing.  Contorno stated she didn’t intend to hurt him.  

During the second interview investigators told Contorno that Foradori was dead, and the video showed Contorno crying wildly after hearing the news.  Both Foradori and Contorno’s family members wept in reaction to the announcement of Foradori’s death, and Contorno’s emotional response.  

The video, around three hours long, showed investigators pressing Contorno for the truth about what transpired.  An investigator told Contorno only true force and anger could result in stabbing a person through the heart, reiterating it couldn't have happened without physical effort.  

Court was adjourned after the video was played. The state is expected to put on more witnesses Wednesday, including a witness from the Alabama Department of Forensics who conducted Foradori’s autopsy

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