A Houston woman convicted of fatally stabbing her boyfriend with a 5 ½-inch stiletto heel told jurors Thursday that she killed him to save her own life during a lengthy fight in which she was chased down, knocked into a wall and thrown over a couch.
Ana Trujillo took the witness stand for the first time in the two-week trial as part of the penalty phase that ended with her being sentenced to life in prison. During about seven hours of rambling testimony, Trujillo said she had been repeatedly abused by men and sexual assaulted.
The jury convicted Trujillo on Tuesday of murder in last June’s killing of her boyfriend, 59-year-old Alf Stefan Andersson, at his home after the couple had gone out drinking. Prosecutors say she pinned him down and stabbed him at least 25 times with the heel of her shoe. Trujillo and her lawyers said she acted in self-defense.
Trujillo told jurors that Andersson became enraged when he thought she was going to leave him and she fought for her life during a fight that lasted more than an hour. Trujillo said there were pauses during the fight in which she would try to calm him down, but at the end Andersson started yelling at her. She said Andersson was a heavy drinker.
“I did fear for my life. I felt he lost it,” she said.
She said she started striking him with the shoe anywhere she could.
“Why did you keep on hitting him?” her attorney Jack Carroll asked.
“He wouldn’t let go of my leg. The pain wouldn’t stop,” she said.
Trujillo said that at first she hit him on his back and on his arms, then on his head as a last resort.
“I had no idea I was hurting him that badly,” she said. “I reached over and my hands were full of blood.”
An Alleged History of Abuse
When he questioned Trujillo, prosecutor John Jordan told jurors that all the evidence pointed to Trujillo and not Andersson being prone to violence.
“To take a shoe and to literally beat someone to death, that’s a different type of crime,” he said. “Do you think it aggravates it that the person being beaten didn’t even fight back?”
Trujillo told jurors she had a history of being sexually or physically abused by men. She said that she had been sexually assaulted by one man and that another boyfriend had kicked her in the stomach when she was pregnant, resulting in a miscarriage.
She also discussed her upbringing, including growing up in Arizona after being born in Mexico, and her various jobs, including massage therapist, club bouncer and artist.