DALLAS – Jurors heard final testimony Tuesday in the punishment phase for Jose Arreola, who faces life in prison after being convicted this week for brutally beating his ex-girlfriend in 2011.
Friends and family testified on Arreola's behalf. His defense team called several witnesses, among them Stefani Wizbashi, an ex-girlfriend.
"He would give me advice. He would help me," she told jurors. Wizbashi also told the courtroom that Arreola deserved a second chance.
Jesus Terrazas said Arreola was, "A good, honest man, a hardworking man who cares about his family." Terrazas, a pastor, said he knows Arreola from church.
The testimony was meant to sway jurors away from assessing the maximum punishment. During cross examination, prosecutors reminded the witnesses that Arreola was convicted of a violent crime. Still, the witnesses insisted that he deserved leniency.
The victim had testified that Arreola first attacked her in 2009. He was free on bail when he raped and sexually mutilated her in March 2011. During the trial, Arreola argued that the woman was the aggressor in earlier fights. He testified she drank heavily and repeatedly attacked him with knives.
Dallas County Assistant District Attorney Brandie Wade called Arreola's claims "fantastical" during closing arguments Monday morning.
The 12-member jury is now deliberating Arreola's fate.