YOU ARE HERE: IVPress HomeCollections

18-year-old woman testifies she saw Serrato stab teen murder victim in the chest

May 31, 2002|By MARIO RENTER√ćA

Staff Writer

A teen testified that she saw the defendant stab the victim as testimony continued Thursday in the murder trial of a 40-year-old El Centro man accused of fatally stabbing 19-year-old Harbor City man Edward De La Cruz a year ago.

The 18-year-old woman was the last witness called by Deputy District Attorney Susanna Salgado. Investigators asked that the woman's identity not be published for safety reasons.

The woman testified she saw Salvador Serrato stab De La Cruz once in the chest July 1, 2001. The stabbing occurred on the side of a residence in the 200 block of East Olive Avenue in El Centro.


She claimed De La Cruz first punched Serrato in the face. De La Cruz then slipped and fell. Serrato kicked him a few times while he was on the ground.

She said Steven Vasquez, a resident of the home, tried to hold back Serrato while De La Cruz stood up.

She said Serrato pulled out a knife from his front pocket and stabbed De La Cruz in the chest. Serrato tried to stab him a second time but De La Cruz had already fallen to the ground.

Serrato then left before telling Vasquez and her, "Take care of this."

She claimed she didn't remember anything else.

Serrato's attorney, Eduardo Rivera of Calexico, asked the witness a series of questions, to which she often replied, "I don't remember." Questions such as, "Do you remember if there was sunlight?" would elicit the response, "I don't remember."

Testimony was expected to continue at 9 this morning. Serrato is expected to testify today.

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles