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Guilty verdict in murder trial of boyfriend

By La Prensa Staff


TOLEDO, Nov. 22, 2021: A jury found a murder suspect guilty in the week-long trial in the death of 36-year-old Emilia Janeth Silgüero Guerrero, a much-loved co-owner of a popular taquería.


Lorenzo Morales, 45, will be sentenced next month on charges of murder and felonious assault with gun specifications. Prosecutors told the jury Morales shot his girlfriend, then stabbed her 18 times in the head, neck and chest areas. The couple had co-owned a now-closed restaurant within walking distance of the Field Ave. home they shared.


A Lucas County deputy coroner testified Ms. Silgüero Guerrero died of a gunshot wound to the left side. He stated the bullet pierced her heart and she likely would have died within minutes. The stabbing followed, three of the stab wounds to her chest so deep they almost reached her back.


Emilia Janeth Silgüero Guerrero


Morales took the stand in his own defense, maintaining he had nothing to do with his girlfriend’s murder, while speaking through a Spanish-English interpreter. No gun or knife was ever found and there were no signs of forced entry to their home.


DNA evidence became a central part of the prosecution’s case. Morales’ DNA was found on her hands, fingernails, and neck, as well as his bodily fluids inside his girlfriend. No other DNA besides his was ever discovered on the victim’s body.


Members of Ms. Silgüero Guerrero’s family kept vigil in the front row throughout the trial, seen crying outside the courtroom shortly after the jury verdict was read.


Prosecutors maintained throughout the trial that the victim was preparing to leave an abusive relationship with Morales, even calling a friend in Kentucky to see if she could stay with him. She later changed her mind. But detectives found a large amount of cash and important documents in her purse during the murder investigation.


The victim’s sister, Vanesa Silgüero, took the stand and spoke of Ms. Silgüero Guerrero’s desire to leave Morales, citing a conversation the two sisters had about how Morales had grabbed her hair during an argument just days before she died and that the incident fueled a long-held desire to escape the relationship.


Friends, family, and police officers testified Morales showed little emotion right after his girlfriend’s murder, even staying in the home three straight nights following her death. Prosecutors told the jury Morales was the beneficiary of a $100,000 life insurance policy on the murder victim that he tried to claim shortly after her death.


Morales will be sentenced Monday, December 13 before Judge Eric Marks.


EDITOR’S NOTE: Morales’ son was convicted last summer of an obstruction of justice charge and is serving a 30-month prison sentence. He initially denied any knowledge of the homicide. But prosecutors maintained during the trial he was the one who discovered the victim’s body. Bryan Morales Rivero changed his story when homicide detectives brought father and son back for another round of interviews months after the murder.





Copyright © 1989 to 2021 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11/23/21 20:09:07 -0800.





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