Sep 052006

DENVER – A Brazilian au pair who was killed last year suffered at least seven stab wounds that would have been fatal by themselves, a deputy Denver coroner testified Tuesday.

But Ana Elisa Toledo’s assailant stabbed her a total of 74 times, including several times in and around her right eye, Dr. James Wahe testified.

Such wounds are unusual, Wahe told a Denver District Court jury hearing the first-degree murder case against Toledo’s former boyfriend, Martin Novotny, an au pair from the Czech Republic.

Novotny, 23, is accused of attacking Toledo, 24, early Dec. 13 in a Denver home where she was caring for two children. Prosecutors have said Novotny had planned the attack for weeks, but defense attorneys argue that he went “berserk” after seeing a picture of another man posted on Toledo’s Web site hours before she was killed.

Prosecutors said after the attack, Novotny returned to his apartment, showered and then stuffed his bloody clothes into plastic bags that he threw into a Dumpster in Castle Rock.

DNA tests on the clothes showed the blood on Novotny’s clothing came from Toledo, Denver police crime lab DNA specialist Ted Davelis testified. Police also recovered a bloody knife.

Prosecutors have told the jury Novotny dug a shallow grave in Castle Pines, south of Denver, before killing Toledo, an act that proves he planned the attack.

“He decided if he couldn’t have her, no one could,” prosecutor Verna Carpenter told the jury in opening statements Thursday.

Novotny’s attorney, Jason Pink, argued Novotny dug the hole to bury photos and other memories of the “love of his life.”

Prosecutors last week showed the jury Novotny’s videotaped confession to police.

“She woke up and I killed her with a knife,” Novotny said on the tape. “She didn’t want me any more. I just couldn’t imagine her with someone else.”

He told investigators he dug a hole as a grave because “I didn’t want anybody to see her.”

Pink said the couple had a tumultuous relationship, breaking up and reuniting several times. He said Novotny never planned to kill Toledo. He told jurors that after Novotny gathered mementos of their relationship and taking them to the hole, he decided he had to talk to her before burying them.

They began talking, but soon engaged in an impassioned argument that included talk about their baby. Toledo miscarried in October, Pink said.

“He went berserk and stabbed her until he collapsed,” Pink said.

After disposing of the evidence, Novotny decided to surrender, Pink said.

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