SPOKANE, Wash. - Prosecutors rested their case Tuesday in the murder trial of Daniel Arteaga, suspected of killing his girlfriend Kim Schmidt on New Year's Eve 2011, but not before playing the jury videotaped excerpts of his interrogation.
Arteaga has been sticking to his story even during that two-hour interrogation where detectives overstated the amount of evidence they had that allegedly tied Arteaga to the crime scene.
It wasn't until eight months after Schmidt was found shot to death in her bedroom that detectives confronted Arteaga about the killing. A video tape was made during Arteaga's August 12, 2012 interrogation just before he was arrested.
Arteaga was Schmidt's lover and a suspect in her death from day one, however he bent over backwards to cooperate with investigations and even agreed to an interrogation without the benefit of an attorney. An hour into the interrogation the detective then revealed evidence tied Arteaga to the murder scene after the fatal shot was fired.
Detective Mike Drapeau then gave Arteaga the impression he'd found the victim's blood on something belonging to Arteaga.
"There's no blood on my clothes from her. I was not in that room. I did not move her body like the news has said. I was not in that room when she was shot or hurt," Arteaga said during his interrogation.
It's the state's theory that Arteaga killed Schmidt because she was rekindling her romance with the father of her daughter, but during this same interrogation Arteaga also told detectives that he was not the jealous type.
After prosecutors wrapped up their case Tuesday, the defense also closed its case without calling Arteaga to the stand. What the defense is going to do is portray Arteaga as a guy who's fully cooperated with detectives and that someone else killed Schmidt after he left her residence.
Closing arguments in the case are scheduled for Wednesday.
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