EL DORADO, Kan. — A Kansas college student who led a secret life as
an Internet porn model spent the evening she disappeared with her
friends at various bars, where she was seen kissing and then leaving
with the man accused of killing her, witnesses testified Tuesday.
portrayed a night of underage drinking that ended with the death of
18-year-old Emily Sander in a blood-splattered motel room as they laid
out their case against 26-year-old Israel Mireles. His defense
attorneys probed details of witness testimony at the preliminary
hearing but offered no hint of their strategy.
Mireles, who was
extradited from Mexico in June, is charged with capital murder, rape
and aggravated criminal sodomy. If the judge finds sufficient probable
cause to take the case to trial, Mireles would then enter a plea to the
charges and a trial date will be set.
The search for Sander got
national attention after it was revealed that she led a secret life as
an Internet pornography model who went by the name Zoey Zane.
Sander was last seen alive on Nov. 23, 2007. She was smiling as she left the bar with Mireles, the doorman there testified.
seemed happy. … She just said she would be back. She seemed all
right,” said Tommy Juarez, the doorman who checked identifications at
the bar that night.
Aurelia Resa, a classmate of Sander at Butler
Community College, testified that she saw Sander at the bar that night
and tearfully identified Mireles in court as the man with whom Sander
had left the bar.
On cross-examination, Resa acknowledged Sander
had told her she had a Web site — an apparent reference to Sander’s
porn site — that was set up so people in El Dorado could not access it.
She said Sander told her it could be accessed by using a proxy server
to get around the block. But Resa said she was reluctant to talk to
investigators about the site.
“I cut the conversation off short because I didn’t feel it was anybody’s business,” Resa said.
Walton, an acquaintance of Sander, testified that she had gone to
several bars with Sander that night and witnessed Mireles kissing her.
Walton said she left the bar herself after Mireles kept asking her to
go back to a hotel with him.
“I started getting uncomfortable with him repeatedly asking me to leave with him,” she said.
Patel, the owner of the motel where Mireles was staying, testified that
he entered the room after discovering a torn screen and broken window.
He said he found “a lot of blood” on the carpet, bed and walls.
prompted the search for Sander, whose body was found six days later,
about 50 miles east of El Dorado. Searchers had traced the route they
believed Mireles took to pick up his then-pregnant, 16-year-old
girlfriend at her grandmother’s house before he fled to Mexico.
was arrested in December 2007 at the home of a relative in Mexico and
fought his extradition. Prosecutors had to promise Mexican authorities
they would not seek the death penalty for him in order for them to
approve the extradition.
If convicted of capital murder, he would face life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.