Jury starts deliberations in murder of Denver 16-year-old girl

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DENVER -- A jury Friday began deliberations in the case of a man accused of killing and dismembering a 16-year-old girl in Denver.

Prosecutors say Edward Romero committed the actions in a gruesome attempt to cover up his crime. Romero's attorneys don't dispute that, but they say he was insane when he killed her.

The girl was killed after a house party in the 4100 block of Decatur St. in October 2010.

Testimony in the trial took two weeks, and it was so graphic, Alicia Martinez's mother, Vanessa, says sometimes she could not bear to listen what officials say happened to her daughter.

Romero's attorney says his client is not guilty by reason of insanity. The claim is a split personality took him over that night.

The victim's family doesn't buy it and says the suspect is faking it. "It was all one big show," says Vanessa Martinez.

An insanity defense is not that common. Some legal experts say there is a parallel between this case and the Aurora theater shooting case where suspect James Holmes is expected to plead insanity.

As she left the courthouse Friday, Alicia's mother said she hopes jurors will hold Romero accountable for her daughter's murder.

If they find him guilty of first degree murder, he could be sentenced to life in prison. If they find him not guilty by reason of insanity, Romero will be sent to the Colorado Mental Health Institute until doctors say he's cured.

Francesca Pagliasotti, Romero's wife, already received a 10-year sentence after she was found guilty of helping Romero conceal the murder of the teenager.

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