YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A man convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend in his Bronx apartment testified today that he was guided by voices when he dismembered her body and sealed the pieces in the basement steps of a Teaneck house — but he insisted that he didn’t desecrate her body once he was in New Jersey.
“I was out of my mind,” Julio Flores told Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Wayne Mello during questioning in Hackensack.
Flores admitted putting water in a container of instant mortar mix outside of the Ardsley Court house, where prosecutors said he’d previously done construction work. Yet he insisted he’d never been there before.
“I can’t explain why I chose that house. Even a psychiatrist couldn’t explain why I chose that house or opened the doors,” he said through a Spanish interpreter. “In my mind I heard voices that said, ‘Pick that house.’ And within me, I said: What do I have to do there?
“Use these keys to open the door,” he said the voices told him.
Flores, who already is serving a 20-year-to-life sentence for murder, chose to stand trial rather than accept a plea offer from prosecutors for desecrating human remains, burglary and trespassing, among other charges.
During questioning by both Mello and his defense attorney, he admitted cutting off Jaritza Calderon’s head and other body parts, then stuffing them into garbage bags.
Although they were no longer dating, he said Calderon came to his apartment to give him a 32nd birthday card.
“We could do anything we want,” he said she told him earlier on the phone.
When Calderon arrived, he said, she jealously checked his bedroom to see whether anyone was there.
He said they were acting playfully on the bed when he recalled that she used to call him without giving him her phone number. So, he said, he grabbed her cellphone — and saw a photo of Calderon with his construction helper.
“We’re supposed to be Christians,” he said he told her. “You went to bed with this man who has a wife and a daughter? Why didn’t you go with someone in the church who didn’t have no one?”
How that led to murder, Flores couldn’t say.
“I wasn’t able to understand what was happening. I didn’t know what to do. My whole mind felt destroyed at one moment. Yes, I accepted that I decided to kill her,” he said.
Mello then asked him to describe the murder.
“I choked her and that was all,” Flores said. “I don’t feel pleasure in explaining to you everything that happened in a death. I can’t speak of pleasure when we’re talking about a death…. At that time, I was out of my mind.”
He did, however, confirm Mello’s description of the dismemberment.
Flores, a Guatemalan native who is not a U.S. citizen, will be subject to deportation once he finishes his sentence — or sentences.
He is being housed in the Bergen County Jail while the local case wends its way to conclusion. He will then be returned to the New York state prison in Ossining.
STORY / COURT PHOTOS: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter
- EXCLUSIVE: A killer who dismembered his ex-girlfriend before burying her remains in a Teaneck basement five years ago was brought into a Bergen County courtroom this morning to answer local charges from the grisly killing. READ MORE….
- ONLY ON CVP: A convict who strangled and dismembered his ex-girlfriend before burying her remains in a Teaneck basement five years ago has been brought to Bergen County to answer local charges from the grisly killing, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned. READ MORE….
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