• February 19, 2019

Woman found not guilty of murdering husband - Odessa American: Courts

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Woman found not guilty of murdering husband

Attorney argued self-defense

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Posted: Friday, February 8, 2019 1:25 pm

A woman who had been charged with murder was found not guilty by an Ector County jury Thursday based on the argument of self-defense.

The trial was held in the 161st District Court of Judge John Smith at the Ector County Courthouse. Blanca Salazar, the defendant, was represented by Michael McLeaish and Jason Leach. Assistant District Attorneys Melissa Williams and Scott Turner prosecuted the case.

District Attorney Bobby Bland said Salazar, 49, had acknowledged killing her husband, 60-year-old Israel Salazar, but was claiming self-defense. Bland said there was evidence Salazar’s husband had been violent with her in the past that the prosecution didn’t dispute, so the question was whether it was a killing in self-defense.

“Our position was it wasn’t (self-defense), and their position was it was and the jury sided with them,” Bland said. “We certainly respect and understand the jury’s verdict.”

Salazar was first arrested by Ector County deputies in October 2014 in her home in the 200 block of Valencia Street. Deputies found the victim dead after suffering multiple gunshot wounds. The affidavit released at the time didn’t offer a motive for the shooting, only that Salazar confessed to the killing.

McLeaish said Salazar married the victim after meeting him through her first husband. Salazar moved in with him, and for about two years he would occasionally beat her, first with an occasional slap, and later punching her.

There was an incident before the killing, McLeaish said, where Salazar and her husband went on a trip to San Antonio where her husband wound up beating Salazar to the point of her bleeding, and she reportedly had to call her ex-husband to take her home and keep her away from him. But McLeaish said she wound up going back with him, and on the night of the shooting, he beat her again before she shot him.

“The jury saw some knots on her head, bruises on her body, and she shot him, and there it is,” McLeaish said. “They acquitted her on self-defense, and I think that’s exactly what happened.”

Family members of Israel Salazar did not return requests for comment.

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