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Trial continues for woman accused of double homicide in Doña Ana County

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico – The woman accused of a double homicide was back in the courtroom Wednesday morning.

34-year-old Cristal Cardenas and Luis Flores are accused of the slayings of Vanessa Rodriguez Mora and Mario Cabral in Garfield. According to criminal complaints, Cardenas and Cabral were in a bitter custody dispute over their daughter.

Additionally, both Cardenas and Flores are charged with Conspiracy to Commit Murder and two counts of Criminal Solicitation to Commit Murder. Both suspects were arrested in March 2018.

On the first day of the trial, the victim's daughter took the stand. She recalls the moment she found her dead mother. The teenager also explained what she heard the night of the Murder. The girl said she heard a truck near the home, followed by gunshots.

She would later find her mother and Cabral's lifeless bodies.

On day one, a man hired as a hitman also gave his testimony. Edward Alonzo told prosecutors that Cardenas hired him to kill her ex-boyfriend, Mario Cabral. However, Alonzo said he didn't follow through because Cardenas was short on payments.

A total of five witnesses took the stand on the first day.

On the second day of the trial, Lieutenant Frank Angel, with the Hatch Police Department, took the stand. On the day of the Murder, the police officer was asked to assist following the Murder.

He recalled the moment he arrived at the home and found shattered windows. He said he continued to check the house shortly after the Murder happened; he would then discover the two bodies.

The police officer explained he did see shoe prints around the residence.

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Rosemary Montañez

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