Murder suspect takes stand in Autauga County trial - Montgomery Alabama news.

Murder suspect takes stand in Autauga County trial

Vegas Contorno leaving the Autauga County Courthouse Thursday. (Source: WSFA 12 News) Vegas Contorno leaving the Autauga County Courthouse Thursday. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)

Defendant Vegas Contorno testified in an Autauga County murder trial. 

Vegas Contorno took the stand for a combined four hours, explaining the complexities of an abusive two year relationship with her boyfriend and murder victim, Remington Foradori.  

Contorno stated both she and Foradori were alcoholics, and had sought treatment from various rehab facilities.  It was when Foradori was drinking that the relationship took an abusive turn.  

Defense attorney Susan James asked Contorno about visits to the hospital following abusive issues with Foradori and explained two separate visits, showing pictures with puncture wounds and bruising on the chest, a cut across the forehead from car keys and marks on the key, allegedly from Foradori’s pocket knife. Contorno stated she attempted to leave her home with Foradori about five times, but always came back.  Contorno stated she loved Foradori and always came home because she wanted her family to be together.  

“I loved him,” Contorno said. “I wanted a family, a house, and dog like I didn’t have growing up.” 

Contorno walked the jury through the day Foradori was fatally stabbed.  She said Foradori worked the overnight shift, cut the grass and made home repairs during the day while she took care of the baby and cleaned the inside of the house.  When he returned the lawnmower to his father’s house, she said Foradori came home with a movie and a pizza and fell asleep.  

A turning point in the night came when their baby Liam, who was born 10 weeks premature, needed a bath and a bottle.  Contorno said she asked Foradori for help with the baby’s bath and bottle but he refused.  After the child was fed, he had a very messy diaper and she again asked for Foradori’s help, but he declined.  According to Contorno, Foradori leaned in to kiss the baby as she tried to change his diaper and she swatted him away.

That’s when Contorno said Foradori “went ballistic” and slammed her against the wall, and a "traumatic" struggle ensued. Contorno stated she worked to get away from Foradori’s choke hold, ran to the kitchen to get a knife, running past the unlocked door the couple used to exit the house.  When Contorno was coming back out of the kitchen, she said Foradori grabbed her wrist and the knife plunged two and a half inches into his chest. 

Contorno told her defense attorney Susan James she was fighting for her life.  

The defense ended their direct examination of Contorno by asking the defendant to read a letter she wrote to Foradori for his first Father’s Day, as if it was written by their son Liam, who was still in the NICU.  Contorno sobbed as she read the letter, the first real show of emotion during her testimony. 

The letter explained how much the little boy loved his father, referring to him as “Superman” on multiple occasions, asking him to come to see him every chance he had at the hospital because he waited on him all week.  At this point Contorno was at the hospital with the baby in Mobile, and Foradori was working at home in Prattville.  

The state began cross-examination at 11:22 a.m., two hours after Contorno was on the stand.  Prosecutor Kirsty Peoples worked to show inaccuracies in Contorno’s stories.  Peoples pressed Contorno on her statement that she was fighting for her life "all over the house," showing pictures from the house with little out of order to give evidence of a struggle. 

Peoples asked Contorno, “Your house wasn’t out of order because you weren’t running for your life?” Contorno stated there was nothing to be knocked over where they were fighting.

Peoples also referenced the emotional letter Contorno read, stating “Liam will never have those things now because you killed his father.”  Contorno responded, “He died at my hands, in self-defense.” 

Peoples also took out her earring, showing the action with ease.  She put her earring on the projector with an earring of Contorno’s that was found in the house – allegedly ripped out by Foradori during the scuffle.  Both earrings had the same back.  Peoples asked if the earrings could have fallen out while doing other things that day.  Contorno said she remembered having the earrings in before the fight.  

Contorno and the state couldn’t get on the same page about what happened after the knife went into Foradori’s chest.  

James followed up with Contorno after the cross-examination, covering many of the same issues highlighted by the state to leave a final impression on the jury.  

The defense called Contorno’s grandmother, who raised her, to the stand next.  Jane Contorno spared no opportunity to explain the love she and her husband had for Foradori, who lived with them for a short time.  She stated her granddaughter loved Foradori, and explained the difficulty both had with alcohol.  

Jane Contorno described a Sunday afternoon when she heard the couple fighting upstairs with glass breaking in the bedroom.  When she walked in, Foradori was on top of Contorno strangling her.  From that point forward she attempted to convince Contorno to break off the relationship, as she worried for her safety.  

Jane Contorno also shared the couple’s fight with alcohol, and her requirement for them to attend church and regularly attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.  

The defense is expected to call another witness to the stand Friday, and rest their case.  The jury is expected to begin deliberations Friday afternoon

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