Suspect admits killing girlfriend, says he feared for his life
Myron Ester bought a shovel, dug a hole for a fire pit in Glen Ellyn's Panfish Park and stole some flowers to prepare a romantic spot so he and Linda Valez could "sleep and make up for some rough times."
But instead of building a fire, Ester, 50, testified Tuesday in DuPage County court that he used the pit to bury the 33-year-old Valez on Sept. 24, 2013.
He dragged her there, he said, after a brutal fight that began when an intoxicated Valez pulled a knife from her purse and swung it at him "multiple times." On cross-examination by Assistant State's Attorney Amanda Meindl, Ester claimed he feared for his life.
Ester testified he had been drinking vodka for most of the day as he waited for Valez to end her shift at the Glen Ellyn McDonald's. They then walked to the wooded area of the park where Ester said he had prepared sticks and kindling for the fire and put down blankets to sleep.
Once they got to the park, he said, she became angry and pulled the knife.
"I snatched the knife from her hand and I grabbed her right hand with my left. Then I stabbed her four or five times on the left side of her body," Ester said from the witness stand. "Then I tripped her but when she fell, I fell on top of her. That's when the knife went directly into her face. She made gurgling sounds and I knew it was over. It was an accident."
When asked by Meindl how Valez got the "other 32 or 33 stab wounds," Ester said he only stabbed her the "four or five times" before he accidentally stabbed her in the face. At one point, Ester asked Meindl to stop showing him the death photo that displayed her wounds.
After realizing he had killed Valez, Ester said he buried her in the hole originally meant for the fire pit, disposed of the shovel and knife in a nearby construction Dumpster and "reflected for an extremely long time" before he sought help at the Glen Ellyn Fire Department for cuts on his hand that he said were caused by fighting for control of the knife.
The next day, he said he called a longtime friend and former lover, Arlinda Shaw of Naperville, and she invited him to her home.
He said he was frantic to talk to her and show her his wounds so she would believe him when he told her he thought he may have killed Valez.
Shaw testified Monday that Ester specifically told her he killed Valez. But she thought he was joking and just trying to get her to let him stay at her house.
She never called police, despite threatening at one point to claim the $1,000 reward. Ester was arrested at her home five days later.
He is charged with five counts to first-degree murder and one count of concealment of a homicidal death.
Judge Brian Telander told jurors he expects closing arguments and for the case to be given to them on Thursday. The trial resumes at 10 a.m. Wednesday.