Judge to Rule Whether Witness to Triple Murder, the Suspect’s Child, Can be Deposed Via Closed-Circuit TV

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Marvin Escobar-Orellana during hearing on December 10, 2019. (WHO-HD)

DES MOINES, Iowa — The man accused in a triple homicide that ended the lives of a Des Moines mother and her two children was back before a judge Tuesday morning.

Marvin Escobar-Orellana is charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the July 16th shooting deaths of 29-year-old Rossibeth Flores-Rodriguez, 11-year-old Grecia Daniela Alvarado-Flores, and five-year-old Ever Jose Mejia-Flores.

During Tuesday’s hearing, attorneys for the state asked the judge to allow Escobar-Orellana’s eight-year-old son, who they say witnessed the killings, to be deposed via closed-circuit television. They want to make sure the child doesn’t have to be in the same room as Escobar-Orellana during the discovery disposition prior to the trial.

The state submitted a letter into evidence from the child’s counselor, outlining their concerns that testifying in the presence of Escobar-Orellana would be harmful to the child.

The judge did not make a ruling Tuesday morning on the state’s motion but said he would inform the parties of his decision as soon as he did.

A separate motion would have to be filed should the state seek to use the discovery deposition as evidence during the trial.

Court documents in the case reveal the shootings happened after an argument between Escobar-Orellana and Flores-Rodriguez. Police say they were not romantically involved but lived in the same home, with Escobar-Orellana and his family occupying the main floor while Flores-Rodriguez and her children lived in the basement.

Federal immigration officials confirm Escobar-Orellana is an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala. He had been living in the U.S. under the name Marvin Oswaldo Esquivel-Lopez and had been deported from the U.S. twice before. He was convicted of illegal entry into the United States in 2010.

Escobar-Orellana’s trial is scheduled for January 27, 2020.

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