Defendant in Glen Ellyn murder trial says he doesn't remember strangling ex-wife

  • Juan Granados

    Juan Granados

  • Nancy Bustos

    Nancy Bustos

Updated 2/25/2020 10:08 PM

When Juan Granados saw videos of his ex-wife having sex with another man, and of a man performing a striptease-style dance, something came over him, he testified Tuesday at his trial on charges of first-degree murder and sexual assault.

"I started shaking. Everything got fuzzy. I could not breathe well," Granados said, speaking through a Spanish interpreter. "I started crying." When asked by his own lawyer, he said he does not remember squeezing Bustos' neck, killing her.


But when DuPage County Assistant State's Attorney Jennifer Lindt cross-examined him, Granados was able to point to where Bustos was standing in their Glen Ellyn bedroom when he started strangling her, and to the spot on their bed where she collapsed. Lindt said it was "convenient" that Granados could remember right up to the moment, and right after. She also pointed out that, in a letter Granados wrote to his mother-in-law after the death, he indicated he was already angry before that day because Bustos had threatened to take their children away from him.

Granados' attorney, Laura Mitacek, has said Granados takes responsibility for killing Bustos but that he is not guilty of first-degree murder.

Bustos was killed Oct. 15, 2011. Although divorced, Granados and Bustos lived together with their two children. Granados said Tuesday that the 2010 divorce "was arranged. It wasn't real." Shortly after the divorce, Bustos married her father's employer to help the man obtain legal U.S. residency.

Granados confirmed that his 9-year-old daughter had told him Oct. 14, 2011, that her mother was spending nights with a boyfriend, not family or female friends as Bustos had told him. When he confronted Bustos about it the next day. she said it had happened just once, and asked for forgiveness. When he told her to leave, she told him he was not the father of their son, Granados said, and that her boyfriend was "much better" at sex. Then he noticed he received the two video messages on his phone.

Granados also testified that he and Bustos would slap and shove each other when they argued. He also said the sex they had the day she died was consensual and at Bustos' request. He said he did not know what happened to a sweatshirt she had been wearing, her cellphone, or a wastebasket missing from the bathroom, or why her leggings were down around her knees when police found her. He said she was fully clothed when he put her in the bathtub and ran water over her face to try to revive her. He denied scraping her nails with a bar of soap. Soap was wound under nails, and deep gouges were found in a bar in the bathroom sink.

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Tuesday morning, a forensic pathologist testified that bleeding in her eyes, bruises deep in some muscles in her throat and scrapes on her neck indicated Bustos had been manually strangled. A DNA expert testified that DNA consistent with Granados' was found on swabs of Bustos' vagina.

Granados chose Tuesday to wear his orange jail uniform rather than street clothes, unlike the previous four days of the case. The case is being heard by a jury.

Before the trial began, Judge Brian Telander ruled the defense could not mention the possibility of convicting on a lesser charge of second-degree murder. But he said they could revisit the matter after testimony concludes. Second-degree can happen when the victim provokes the defendant in to doing something in a sudden and intense passion.

The trial resumes Wednesday morning.

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