By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
State, defense rest Thursday in Gainesville stabbing trial
Woman accused of killing ex-boyfriend's girlfriend

The final witnesses testified Thursday in the malice murder trial of Ofelia Barrera-Rodriguez, 49.

Barrera-Rodriguez, of Gainesville, is charged with stabbing Iris Romero-Banegas on Dec. 28, 2014, at a Hidden Knoll home in Gainesville.

Defense attorney Larry Duttweiler cross-examined Hall County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Jerry Phillips about the interview last year with Barrera-Rodriguez.

Duttweiler’s questions pointed to sections of the interview where the defendant seemingly inquired about an attorney.

“At about 90 minutes in, you actually ask the interpreter, ‘Is she asking for an attorney? Does she want an attorney?’ Do you remember that?” Duttweiler asked.

“I do remember that, yes,” Phillips said.

Duttweiler said the response was “si” for “yes,” but Phillips testified that he didn’t hear her say that.

Rebecca Bennett from Fieldale Farms testified Thursday afternoon regarding the clock-in and clock-out times for Romero-Banegas and Rogelio Flores-Sotelo, the victim’s boyfriend.

Romero-Banegas left work at 12:52 a.m. Dec. 28, 2014, a few hours after Flores-Sotelo. Flores-Sotelo returned to work at 6:57 a.m. Dec, 28, 2014 and left work at 4:05 p.m., Bennett said.

GBI Agent Elaina Coffee testified about a Cellebrite data extraction from Flores-Sotelo’s cellphone. Romero-Banegas sent a text message on Dec. 27, 2014, to Flores-Sotelo that read “amor estoy embarazada,” which can translate into English “love I’m pregnant.”

The defense rested around 3:45 p.m. Thursday after roughly 30 minutes of testimony.

Assistant District Attorney Ray Mayer declined to present any rebuttal evidence.

The trial will resume after 8:30 a.m. today for closing arguments and jury instructions in Superior Court Judge Andrew Fuller’s courtroom.