Day 3: People v. Isabel Celis ? The Web of Lies Begins

The following contains information regarding the trial. If you are a juror or potential witness please do not read this until your role in the trial has ended.

Court began at 10:20 this morning with the defense bringing in a…

… small tire iron as evidence. The forensic pathologist then continued with his testimony stating that the tire iron could have been used to make Norma?s injuries. He then said that the person that attacked Norma would have been right handed and standing behind her. Also one or both of the people were in motion. Norma also had bruises on her neck suggestion strangulation. He said it would not be possible for one person to be holding Norma by the neck and making her other wounds. Since her wounds were on the back of her head she would have been on her knees or bent over and that the she couldn?t have been on her back.

At 11:27am a Social Worker that Isabele first confessed to took the stand. He testified that Celis asked him to take her took Lost Hills so she could visit her brother. In the car she told him that Norma had come over demanding money and threatening her. They got in an argument and Celis shoved her she hit her head on a rock and started bleeding. She then got a blanket and brought Noma’s body into the house. She cleaned up the house and called her son, Miguel, and he took Norma away. The social worker left her in Lost Hills and returned to Paso Robles and contacted the Police. In the cross examination the defense tried to suggest that Celis confessed because she wanted to turn herself into the police and would return to Paso Robles. The social worker didn?t remember that but did say he told Celis he would have to tell the police.

A string of 5 witnesses followed after lunch. They were various detectives and translators in the case testifying to their roles in the case. Each was on the stand for 4 to 7 minutes.

Following them was Sergeant Nix who worked in the watch commander?s office in Nov. 03. He interrogated Isabele on December 2nd. He noticed that her driveway was wet. He said that she spoke of Norma in ?glowing terms? and said she was forgiving when people couldn?t repay money she loaned them. She said that Norma?s attitude was one of understanding. When he told her that Norma had been found she was ?stone faced? and calm. She said she thought someone had killed her because she had been missing so many days. Sergeant Nix said he questioned her 2 days later, after she had been arrested, and she said that she had pushed Norma and she hit her head on a rock and began to bleed profusely. She then picked up a bar and hit Norma on the head 3 times. She confessed at this time that Norma?s car was moved behind Wilson?s Bowling Alley in Paso Robles (It had been found a week prior). She said she had checked to make sure Norma was dead by looking for a pulse and breathing. She was calm, unemotional, and said Miguel wasn?t involved. She said she didn?t know why she kept hitting Norma after she fell down.

The final witness of the day was lead investigator Mike Wasley who said when he spoke with Isabele on November 29th she had given him the names of two people Norma had lent money to that she thought might want to hurt Norma.

The people rested their case at 3:00pm after introducing the video tapes and transcripts of the interrogations into evidence.