Victim Julie Ann Gonzalez
A jail house conversation and digital foot prints provided dramatic moments today in the murder trial of George De La Cruz. He is accused of killing his estranged wife, Julie Ann Gonzalez, five years ago. She hasn't been seen since.
George De La Cruz has not said anything during his murder trial. Tuesday a jail house informant, who asked not to be identified, said De La Cruz spoke to him. The conversation allegedly happened two years ago while both were locked up and the topic was about Julie Ann Gonzalez.
"I know she tried to leave at one point and he tried to stop her ... and things got physical."
George De La Cruz is accused of killing his estranged in March 2010 because she was leaving him for another man. That separation, according to the informant, lead to a fight at De La Cruz's home.
"An altercation happened, she fell, she hit her head, and she was apparently bleeding. At that point she like any female would, most females would, in that situation was going to call, I don't know who she was going to call ... the cops ... whoever ... and I guess he tried to stop her."
De La Cruz claims Gonzalez left his home alive and ran off to Colorado with her lover. A communications expert for the prosecution testified he was able to tracked Gonzalez's cell-phone everywhere except the rocky mountain state and the digital footprint prosecutors argue leads straight to De La Cruz.
Jim Cook presented maps of south Austin cell phone towers that he says places Gonzalez's phone near locations De La Cruz was at.
"The cellphone activity related to this particular time, I'm getting that from the call detail records themselves," said Cook.
So when Wal-Mart surveillance cameras took pictures of Del La Cruz on a shopping spree with Gonzalez's debit card, Cook testified Gonzalez's phone was in the area. Cook also said it was near the same Best Buy where this receipt was given to De La Cruz. He even linked her phone to a tower close to the apartment complex where of one of De La Cruz's friends lived. Prosecutor Gary Cobb noted the digital trail went back to where Gonzalez was last seen alive.
"In the vicinity of the De La Cruz residence," said Cook.
The phone activity is critical to the circumstantial evidence case. Prosecutors say De La Cruz used Gonzalez's phone to send text messages and social media postings making it seem she was still alive.
The case is expected to go to the jury Wednesday morning.