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Israel Mireles trial update: Testimony includes graphic detail about Mireles’ motel room

EL DORADO, Kansas – from

After calling six witnesses Tuesday, the murder trial for Israel Mireles [he is alleged to have killed Internet model Zoey Zane]will continue at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Butler County District Court.

3:10 p.m.

Crime-scene investigator David Klamm said he spent two days working with a team to collect evidence from an El Dorado motel room where Israel Mireles had been staying.

“Ms. Sander had been reported missing, and we had a bloody room,” he said. “But we had to see if there was some connection.”

Emily Sander, 18, had been missing for two days, when Klamm arrived at the El Dorado motel.

Inside were blood-soaked bed sheets, carpet, splatters on chairs and articles of clothing, including a woman’s bra.

2:15 p.m.

There was blood splattered across Room 21 at the El Dorado Motel two days after Thanksgiving 2007.

David Klamm, special agent for the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, was in charge of processing the room, where Israel Mireles had been staying the previous month.

Klamm found blood stains on the floor and on the handle of a toilet plunger nearby, lying underneath the front window and by the door to the room.

There also was blood splattered across the arms of chairs underneath the window. From his training, Klamm recognized the spots on the chair as a “flow pattern,” which means it fell from the source.

The phone jack lay nearby, ripped from the wall, Klamm testified today in Mireles’ murder trial. Klamm also found a 9-inch piece of phone cord on the floor. It had blood on it, too.

Blood seemed to cover the room, when the owner of the motel first looked inside the room.

The broken window first drew the attention of I.C. Patel.

11:45 a.m.

Joe Terziu met Israel Mireles in Vernon, Texas.

Terziu is a restaurateur and he hired Mireles to work with him, helping to open establishments.

Mireles was a good worker, Terziu testified. Mireles helped get buildings ready to open; then he would work with kitchen prep and wait tables after the restaurants opened.

“I thought he was a great guy,” Terziu testified today during Mireles’ capital murder trial in Butler County District Court.

Mireles traveled with Terziu from Texas to Kansas, where they opened a restaurant in Hays. Then they went to El Dorado to open Bella Casa, an Italian Restaurant.

Terziu testified he rented the space adjoining the El Dorado Motel. He and Mireles began painting and working to ready the motel for opening the restaurant.

Terziu rented rooms at the hotel. He stayed in one. Mireles and his girlfriend, Victoria Martens, who followed him from Hays, stayed in Room 21.

The day after Thanksgiving, Terziu testified Mireles asked for his pay. It wasn’t the regular payday, but Terziu said Mireles told him his grandmother was sick in Texas.

Occasionally, Terziu said, Mireles would leave his employment and then return later. Terziu gave Mireles $600.

Terziu said he knew Mireles’ truck was broken down. Mireles said he had another car. Terziu said goodbye and wished Mereles well.

The next day, I.C. Patel came to the restaurant.

“Come look at what your employee did to my room,” Terziu said he remembered Patel saying.

Patel testified that he had been on his morning rounds and noticed a broken window in Room 21. Something didn’t seem right, Patel said, so he used a pass key to open the room.

“I saw all the blood inside,” Patel had said.

“It looked scary,” Terziu testified.

Patel drove to El Dorado police and told them about the bloody room.

Police had already been looking for Emily Sander, a missing 18-year-old student at Butler County Community College.

10 a.m.

Israel Mireles did not kill Emily Sander, his lawyer told jurors this morning.

Melanie Freeman-Johnson said during her opening remarks that Mireles was out with Sander and her friends that night in November 2007. They were partying at a bar, as Kansas Attorney General Steve Six had said in his opening for the prosecution.

But the group had been looking for drugs: cocaine, “blow”as they called it, Freeman-Johnson said.

Later, Mireles and Sander left the Retreat Bar and went back to the motel room where he had been living for the past month.

They had sex, Freeman-Johnson said. Then, the lawyer said, Mireles heard a knock at the door.

Mireles didn’t know the man but Sander seemed to, Freeman-Johnson told the jurors.

“He’s cool,” Freeman-Johnson said Sander told Mireles.

But inside, Freeman-Johnson said, the man tried to rob Mireles and take his wallet. There was a scuffle.

Mireles eventually took his wallet back and left the motel, driving around, the lawyer said.

“He was trying to cool off,” Freeman-Johnson said.

The defense said when Mireles returned to the El Dorado Motel, he found a bloody scene.

“It was an ordinary day for Israel Mireles that turned into a nightmare,” Freeman-Johnson said.

“He panicked,” she said.

Mireles loaded up his belongings, put Sander’s body in the trunk, then headed to where his teenage girlfriend was staying in Baxter Springs.

“He gets down the road before he has the presence of mind to remember he had Emily with him,” Freeman-Johnson said.

“He couldn’t go back,” Freeman Johnson added. “He was afraid to go to the hospital.” So he put the body by the highway.

Six said the Sander’s blood was found all over the motel room. She had been raped with a knife, sodomized with the wooden handle of a plunger out of the bathroom, stabbed several times and strangled.

Mireles later was arrested in Mexico.

He is charged with rape, aggravated sodomy and capital murder.

Under and extradition agreement with Mexico, Mireles cannot face the death penalty if convicted. He can, however, be sentenced to life in prison without parole.

9 a.m.

Kansas Attorney General Steve Six is preparing to open his case against Israel Mireles today in Butler County District Court.

Mireles is charged with the rape, sodomy and capital murder of Emily Sander, an 18-year-old Butler County Community College student who died in November 2007.

Sander was brutally attacked sexually and died of multiple stab wounds and strangling, an autopsy has shown.

Mireles fled to Mexico, and under an extradition agreement cannot face the death penalty if convicted. If convicted of capital murder, Mireles can, however, face life in prison without parole.

Follow the trial life via Twitter, in the sidebar of this story, at, and through updates on throughout the day.

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