Assault, harassment trial begins: Man allegedly left dozens of profane messages on victim’s voicemail
EAGLE — An assault and harassment trial involving a former Eagle County couple began, ironically, on Valentine’s Day.
“Today may be Valentine’s Day, but this is not a love story. It’s a story about a romance that went horribly wrong,” Prosecutor Cathleen Noone said in her opening statement Wednesday afternoon.
Martin Arroyo, who lives in Basalt and is acting as his own attorney, is charged with felony assault, harassment and stalking a woman who works in the medical industry caring for people with terminal diseases.
Arroyo’s opening statement was succinct. He insisted that prosecutors would not be able to prove he was stalking the woman, then sat down, alone at the defendant’s table.
Then Noone began playing voice messages for the 13 jurors — 12 jurors and one alternate, seven men and six women — that Arroyo left on the woman’s voicemail.
“Tomorrow, everyone is going to know that you paid me to f— you!” Arroyo snarled in voicemail.
Among other things, Arroyo is accused of accosting the woman in a gym where she they both worked out, yanking the back of her head so hard that it ripped some of her hair out in his hand.
Then he left her a voicemail saying, “I’m going rip the rest of your f—ing hair out, b—-!”
Between November 2016 and January 2017, he left her dozens of voicemails after they broke up, generally punctuated with the F-word and calling her a “whore,” as well as text messages, according to testimony. She gave those voicemails and text messages to the Basalt Police Department.
The woman testified she is a Christian and goes to church regularly. Her son sings in the choir. She works out six to seven days a week early in the morning. He threatened in a voicemail that he would take a bat to the church pastor.
They met in the gym, dated six months, broke up, dated for another month that fall, and then broke up for good.
When they went out, she paid for most of their expenses. She also drove; he did not have his own transportation. He lived in a storage unit.
“Don’t let the storage unit fool you. I f—-d you over and you don’t even know it yet,” Arroyo said in a voicemail.
She said she loved him, and he appeared to love her, too, until the haranguing and abuse began.
The whole thing started to explode when, on a Friday, she told him she needed some time to herself after a week of working with the dying, she testified. He flew into a rage laced with name calling and threats, and accused her of seeing someone else.
“It was like venom came out of his mouth,” she said.
There was not enough time in Wednesday’s open proceedings for Arroyo to cross examine the witness. The trial is scheduled to continue through Friday.
A civil deputy kept her job and was mandated to undergo counseling after Aspen police arrested her in July on suspicion of driving under the influence and reckless driving.
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