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Trial begins for defendant charged with murdering his girlfriend

By La Prensa Staff

The murder trial of the estranged boyfriend of a restaurant owner began with jury selection Monday, Nov. 15, 2021 in Lucas County Common Pleas Court, Toledo—more than two years after the death of 36-year-old Emilia Janeth Silgüero Guerrero.

44-year-old Lorenzo Morales faces murder and felonious assault charges with specification in his girlfriend’s death, which prosecutors believe occurred in the couple’s home following an argument in August 2019. The couple co-owned a popular Old South End restaurant, Taquería La Autentica Michoacana. Morales has been jailed since his arrest in May 2020.

The mother of three, according to an autopsy, had been shot in the back and stabbed multiple times in her chest and head. Ms. Silgüero Guerrero, was originally from Heroica Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico. A family member went to check on the murder victim when she didn’t respond to text messages and discovered her body.
 

Emilia Janeth Silgüero Guerrero

Four months after her murder and just a few months before his eventual arrest, Morales attended a vigil with a group of supporters outside the taquería, calling for justice. He told reporters, through an interpreter, of his hope her killer would be found and brought to justice. “We can’t find closure until the police say what happened,” Morales said at the time.

The week after Morales was arrested nearly 18 months ago, Ms. Silgüero Guerrero’s sisters and friends staged a “ride for justice” to bring attention to her murder. More than a dozen cars honked their horns as the caravan drove by the victim’s Mexican supermarket and taqueria.

A jury convicted a co-defendant—Morales’ son—on an ‘obstruction of justice’ charge earlier this year. A judge last summer sentenced Bryan Morales-Rivero, to 30 months in state prison with credit for time served while awaiting trial. According to prosecutors, Morales-Rivero lied to police about his father’s role in shooting and stabbing Ms. Silgüero Guerrero. There was also some indication that the victim was planning on leaving the defendant.

Morales-Rivero initially tried to deny any knowledge of who had committed the crime, then pointed a finger at a neighbor whom he claimed ‘was always asking for money’. He finally implicated his father in the homicide after Toledo police detectives brought both suspects in for another interview eight months after the murder. His defense attorney stated Morales-Rivero faces likely deportation back to México once his prison term is served.

Ms. Guerrero and Morales had been together more than a decade. The taquería has long since closed. At the time of her death, Ms Silgüero Guerrero had branched out and become involved in other businesses as well, but with partners other than Morales. She had also recently celebrated her daughter’s quinceañera. Her three children are in the custody of relatives and have moved out of the area.

To date, the trial has been delayed a number osf times, with the postponement of several hearings. Defense attorneys have received court approval to hire a private detective and an expert witness. There is also a Notico of Alibi on file. Other pre-trial expenses have included the use of interpreters during court hearings, as Morales speaks only Spanish.

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Copyright © 1989 to 2021 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11/16/21 19:25:14 -0800.

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