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Mistrial declared in case of El Paso man accused of decapitating mother

UPDATE (04/13): A jury could not reach a verdict in the trial of Fernando Alarcon. Alarcon is accused of decapitating his mother.

EL PASO, Texas – A jury has been sequestered for the night after starting deliberations in the Fernando Alarcon murder trial.

Alarcon was accused of decapitating his mother, Graciela Acosta, in 2017.

A friend of Acosta, Romelia Hernandez, went to check on the mother when she hadn't heard from her in several days. The friend told investigators Alarcon refused to let her into Acosta's apartment, and she noticed a foul odor coming from inside. The friend called the police, and officers discovered Acosta's body.

During the trial, Alarcon's sister said she witnessed Alarcon using hateful words toward his mother.

She said their relationship went from “good to extremely bad” and described it as “violent.”

Vargas said she grew concerned about her mom living with Alarcon.

“I saw how my brother can go from my loving brother to a person I didn’t recognize,” said Vargas.

During closing arguments this morning, the defense said Alarcon was not guilty of murder, rather, abuse of a corpse.

Defense attorneys argued Alarcon began exhibiting symptoms of schizophrenia around 12 to 13 years of age. They also argued he was paranoid, experienced delusions and was an easy scapegoat.

The trial began on April 6. The jury went into deliberations around 1 p.m. today.

Back in 2017, Hernandez told police Alarcon was verbally and physically abusive towards his mother. Both lived in the same apartment unit at the Suncrest Apartments in West El Paso.

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