“Obviously these allegations of dismemberment color this and make it sound terrible,” defense attorney says.
Lisa Gonzales, the woman accused of killing her 61-year-old roommate before dismembering her body, pleaded not guilty at her arraignment Thursday morning.
Her public defender, Alex Lilien, told the court that he is still awaiting discovery, including photographs of the deceased, and the completion of an autopsy. Outside of court, Lilien told reporters he is interested to learn the cause of death and review a toxicology report of the victim.
“Dismemberment and other allegations would have happened after the person was killed,” Lilien said. “Obviously these allegations of dismemberment color this and make it sound terrible,” he continued, but noted that it is less relevant to issues surrounding the allegation of murder.
He expects the autopsy to take a few weeks to complete.
Police found the remains of Margaret Mamer June 2, up to 18 days after she died, in a large plastic container in Gonzales’ storage unit. Her legs and arms had been severed and stuffed into a maggot-infested plastic bag. Mamer had been reported missing on June 1.
Another, unidentified roommate of Gonzales detailed smelling something foul coming from the bathroom on May 15 and being told by Gonzales not to enter. The next day, the roommate heard a “sawing” sound coming from the bathroom.
Police arrested Gonzales on June 2, at which point she purportedly told police she didn’t have a “real recollection” of what happened next, but she thinks she “flipped.”
“I’d always prefer my client speak with a lawyer, but we take it as it comes,” her attorney said.
Gonzales waived her right to a preliminary hearing within 10 days. Her next hearing will take place on July 18.
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