Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Man charged with murdering glamour model, 24, before encasing her body in concrete in the Nevada desert 'has started hearing voices and isn't competent', his lawyer claims

 Lawyers for the man accused of murdering a Las Vegas glamour model say he has started to 'hear voices' ahead of his trial.

Christopher Prestipino, 46, and his roommate Casanra Garrett, 40, are alleged to have killed 24-year-old Esmeralda Gonzalez at their home in May last year. 

According to court documents, the pair tied Gonzalez up to a bedpost before they injected her with pool cleaner and strangled her. 

Prestipino allegedly took extensive measures to try and cover up the crime, encasing Gonzalez's body in concrete and dumping it in a desert near the Las Vegas Valley. Her remains were not discovered until early October.  

Prestipino's girlfriend, Lisa Mort, has also been charged as an accessory to murder. She allegedly knew about the slaying and helped to cover it up. 

Lawyers for Prestipino are now claiming that he should undergo a competency evaluation before his trial, which is scheduled to start next May. 

Christopher Prestipino is alleged to have killed glamour model Esmeralda Gonzalez (pictured) last year
Prestipino's lawyers are now requesting he undergo a competency evaluation saying he has started to 'hear voices' ahead of his trial

Christopher Prestipino (right) is alleged to have killed glamour model Esmeralda Gonzalez (left) last year. His lawyers are now requesting he undergo a competency evaluation saying he has started to 'hear voices' ahead of his trial


The Las Vegas Review Journal has obtained a filing from the accused's attorneys, which states in part: 'Prestipino's mother believes that his  mental health has deteriorated to such an extent as to not make him competent.

'At the most recent visit with Mr. Prestipino, he indicated he was hearing voices and could not remember normal situations.'


The filing further alleges that Prestipino 'appears to understand the nature of the proceedings but that his memory of events has diminished.'   

 A judge is set to decide this week whether to allow a competency evaluation to go ahead.   

Prestipino's roommate Casandra Garrett (pictured) has also been charged with the grisly murder
Lisa Mort, 31, (pictured) was also arrested and charged with helping Prestipino cover up the killing

Prestipino's roommate Casandra Garrett (left) has also been charged with the grisly murder. His girlfriend Lisa Mort (right) was also arrested for covering up the killing 

Cops say she was kidnapped, held against her will, injected with pool cleaner and strangled to death

Cops say she was kidnapped, held against her will, injected with pool cleaner and strangled to death 


Gonzalez worked in the adult entertainment industry and boasted more than 300,000 followers on Instagram. 

Her brother reported her missing from her home in the Las Vegas suburbs and arrived to find the front door unlocked and the inside ransacked.   

Neighbors reported seeing Gonzalez waking around her neighborhood in high heels and lingerie asking for a ride in the day before her death. 

In the pre-dawn hours of May 31 she was captured in surveillance video trying to open the door to a home in the 9000 block of West Torino Avenue, less than two-tenths of a mile from Prestipino's home. 

'The occupants awoke and advised Esmeralda she was at the wrong house. Esmeralda's gait was unsteady and she appeared disoriented,' prosecutors say in court documents.

It's believed she then stumbled to Prestipino's home.


Gonzalez was reported missing from her home on the 8900 block of Red Kansas Court (pictured) in Las Vegas by relatives on May 31

Gonzalez was reported missing from her home on the 8900 block of Red Kansas Court (pictured) in Las Vegas by relatives on May 31

Prestipino and Mort (above together in a Facebook photo) have both been charged in Gonzalez's death. Mort allegedly knew about the slaying and helped to cover it up

Prestipino and Mort (above together in a Facebook photo) have both been charged in Gonzalez's death. Mort allegedly knew about the slaying and helped to cover it up

In late July homicide detectives received a tip saying he might have killed Gonzalez. 

Another tipster was interviewed by police and claimed that Prestipino told a friend 'he killed the missing girl'. 

'Esmeralda was at Christopher's house, and he ended up getting her high on methamphetamine. Christopher was not aware of Esmeralda's mental problems, and she started acting bizarre and speaking in the devil's tongue,' that witness said, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Pamela Weckerly.

Prosecutors say she was 'left tied up to a bedpost for an extended period of time'. When he untied her she punched him in the face and threatened to call police and tell them he had given her drugs. 

Then, according to prosecutors, he strangled her. Investigators believe she was later poisoned. 

To get rid of the body he rented a U-Haul truck and asked a family friend to help him move a wooden box full of concrete. 

After dumping the body he fled to Belize. He subsequently returned to Las Vegas, where he was arrested. 

Gonzalez is pictured on a missing persons poster issued by police in July 2019

Gonzalez is pictured on a missing persons poster issued by police in July 2019

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