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“My friend is dead:” Jury hears testimony, 911 call from friend of slain KLAQ DJ

The woman who found the body of her best friend hours after his murder took the stand in the trial of the man accused of his death.

Leonel Hernandez is charged with murder, accused of shooting KLAQ DJ Richard Madrigal, 32, at his apartment on June 11, 2016.

A previous witness testified Thursday morning that the motive for the shooting may have been jealousy, but what would have caused the feelings of jealousy wasn’t explained.

Alexis Dominguez took the stand late Thursday morning, saying she went to Madrigal’s west El Paso apartment on the afternoon of June 12 to check on him because she was concerned that he had not responded to her texts and her calls were going straight to voicemail.

Dominguez said she “had a bad feeling” when she saw Madrigal’s car parked by his apartment. She used her key to enter his apartment and found him lying on the floor lifeless, she told the jury. “I saw blood on his legs and his head,” she said, her voice tight with emotion. “I touched him for one quick second and I knew he was gone,” she added, crying.

As the prosecution showed a picture of Madrigal at the crime scene, Dominguez said she saw no sign of a struggle and even thought he had hit his head on a table. “I didn’t think it would be what we found it to be,” she added.

After a lunch break, Dominguez returned to the stand while prosecutors played the call she made to 911 that day. Her voice on the recording sounded panicked as she told the dispatcher, “My friend is dead!” On the stand, Dominguez wiped her eyes as the courtroom heard her say on the recording, “Oh my God, he’s probably been in there all day. I’ve been trying to call him all morning.”

Dominguez, who said she and Madrigal were friends for 15 years and knew each other since high school, also testified that she had last spoken to Madrigal on June 11, hours before he was murdered.

Dominguez said through texts she learned that Madrigal was hanging out with Marinda Palacios. Police charged Palacios with failure to report a felony in connection with Madrigal’s murder. The prosecution said during opening arguments Thursday the charges against Palacios will be dropped in exchange for her testimony in this case.

“WTF,” Dominguez said in a text when she learned that Madrigal was with Palacios at his apartment. “Where did she come from.” “Last night. Drinking. Bad decisions. (Nothing sexual),” Madrigal had replied in a text.

Dominguez said they later spoke on the phone and she could hear Palacios in the background, “being loud and obnoxious.” When asked by the defense to elaborate, Dominguez said she could barely hear Madrigal over Palacios’ laughter. “I know her to be that way,” Dominguez said, adding that she knew Palacios “was bad news.” When the defense asked her to explain, she said, “it’s just an overall feeling I got. … I know when I meet someone who’s trashy.”

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