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Jurors watch confession video in Miguel Tinoco murder trial

By: Melissa Gundersen
EL PASO, Texas -- It was a twist in the case today as jurors watched an El Paso man accused of driving into a group of people, claiming the life of one woman, admit he did it.

On Tuesday afternoon Miguel Tinoco watched a video of himself confess to the crime. As prosecutors played the 45-minute long video recording of Tinoco explaining exactly was happened around 1 a.m. on July 8, 2012 jurors could hear Detective David Flores asking Tinoco why he did it.

"Everybody I spoke to said you veered right to them. You clearly could have gone right past them," Flores said in the video.

"I didn't see clearly ... I was drunk," Tinoco first responded.

Flores questioned Tinoco whether the crash was intentional.

The incident happened after Tinoco was kicked out of his friend's 19th birthday bash at the friend's home on Rio Monte Street in the Lower Valley. Tinoco said everyone who was under 21 years old was asked to leave.

Before going to his car, Tinoco confessed he urinated on a neighbors property and then the neighbor punched him.

"Then I ran to my car and just took off ... I thought they were going to follow me," said Tinoco in the recording.

Tinoco said he hit the gas, went 55 mph and didn't stop.

Flores, however, said he believes Tinoco was angry and thought the person who punched him was in the crowd of people he drove into.

"Did you see them (people) standing out there?" Flores asked Tinoco.

Tinoco responded, "Yeah."

Defense attorney Tom Hughes said Tinoco isn't to blame because he was drunk and didn't know what he was doing.

The confession video showed Flores explaining to Tinoco he hit five people, sending four to the hospital and killing Miriam Aguirre, 23.

Tuesday morning jurors also saw graphic photos of the crime scene. Photos showed clothes in the middle of Rio Monte Street along with pools of blood. They also showed Tinoco's damaged car. The car's bumper and hood were both dented and the windshield was completely cracked. Police said they found what the believe to be Aguirre's skin in one section of the windshield.

Some of the most graphic photos of the day were of the victims' injuries.

When showing a photo of Aguirre, police Officer Luis Sarmiento said, "There was a big gash in her head. Her hair was soaked in blood. There was road rash on her legs, arms and on her face as well."

El Paso County Chief Medical Examiner Juan Contin told jurors Aguirre suffered a hemorrhage on the surface of her brain and a fractured skull. He believes Aguirre was hit, flew over the car's hood and landed on the back right side of her body.

Prosecutors are expected to call their last witnesses Wednesday morning and then the defense will begin calling witnesses.

If convicted, Tinoco could face five to 99 years to life in prison.