ELKO – Eduardo Estrada-Puentes was found guilty of first-degree murder today in the 2011 death of his estranged wife Stephanie Gonzalez, a case that led to a three-year manhunt and galvanized the community’s efforts to prevent domestic violence.
An Elko District Court jury returned the verdict over the noon hour after hearing closing arguments from attorneys this morning.
Chief District Attorney Chad Thompson’s presentation included having the courtroom pause as he counted off four minutes, the average time it takes for someone to die from strangulation.
Estrada-Puentes’ defense claimed the act was voluntary manslaughter, done in the heat of passion during an argument on the morning Gonzalez stopped by their trailer home to pick up her work uniform.
More than two dozen witnesses were called over the course of the one-week trial.
Elko residents contributed thousands of dollars in reward money at “Justice for Stephanie” fundraisers. He was finally apprehended in Mexico in October 2014 after being involved in a fight, and extradited to the United States.
This story will be updated later today at elkodaily.com.