CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The judge and jury returned to the courtroom today in the trial of Michael Preston, a man accused of killing Lesley Dejesus while trying to steal her car.
Today’s focus was on the cross examination of one of the key witnesses of the trial: Lesley’s husband, Jesus Cruz Maldonado. With the help of an interpreter, he recounted his experience of fighting off the men who tried to steal his car. He explained how he jumped into the passenger side to stop the suspect from driving away.
“When [the suspect] reverses, goes over the curb and takes the fence down, the car jerks and I let go, because I look at my wife and she’s on the ground,” he said.
During the examination, the defendant used footage from a police body cam to claim Jesus took too long to identify anyone from a list of suspects, and misidentified Preston as the one responsible for driving over Lesley.
“That video speaks for itself,” they explained. “The witness is depicted in that photo [video clip] for a number of minutes and clearly, in our opinion, is uncertain as to who he should pick.”
Jesus, in response, confirmed his decision to identify Preston, saying he at first hesitated because he did not want to wrongly accuse an innocent man of the crime.
“When I took my time, I stared at the picture because the hair was different. I was not able to see the hair that day [of the incident] because he was wearing a hoodie,” Jesus explained through the interpreter.
In the coming days, the jury is expected to consider more pieces of evidence and testimonies from witnesses that were on the scene last November.