DALLAS - The state called several character witnesses to the stand on Wednesday, trying to build the case that Lisa Dykes was a jealous woman, who ultimately murdered 23-year-old Marisela Botello in October 2020.
Prosecutors said Dykes was in a jealous rage when she stabbed Botello to death because Botello was in bed with Charles Beltran at Dykes’ home. Dykes and her wife, Nina Marano, were in a three-way relationship with Beltran, according to prosecutors.
All three lived together. Dykes, Beltran, and Marano all face charges in Botello's death.
Charles Beltran (left), Nina Marano (center), Lisa Dykes (right)
Crime scene analysts discussed blood found on carpet inside Dykes’ home in Mesquite.
"It shows a positive reaction," DPD crime scene analyst Julia Wayland said.
A forensics expert testified multiple blood samples matched Botello’s DNA.
"You would have to have more than 10 trillion people before you would expect another person to match that DNA profile in the same way," Dallas County Crime Lab forensic biologist Amanda Webb testified.
Investigators had a sample of Botello’s DNA from a used face mask. That DNA matched Botello’s remains that were found in a Dallas County field months after she was reported missing.
"The DNA profile came from that face mask that we previously used for comparison as her DNA profile, matched the DNA profile obtained from the tooth of her," Webb said.
Dykes' Relationship With Beltran
A longtime hair stylist for Dykes said that when she first met her client in 2016 she had long blonde hair and dressed conservatively.
She says that changed when she met Beltran in 2018.
"When she met Chuck she kind of started changing," said Kathy DeLeon. "She wanted me to completely shave the sides of her head and do a pompadour."
The state showed the jury a collage of pictures with Dykes' change in hair, makeup and clothing over a 2-year period.
DeLeon testified she was also surprised to learn that Dykes was making her adult daughter move out of Dykes' Mesquite home, so Beltran could move in.
"She goes, 'I'm ready to live the life that I want and I can't do that with her here,'" she testified.
DeLeon said that months later, Dykes told her she was marrying Nina Marano, a friend from her past, but only because she could give her everything she wanted financially and that she was not sexually attracted to Marano.
Dabbled in Witchcraft
DeLeon said she went over to Dykes' home to do her hair for the wedding and she saw an altar with a grim reaper statue.
DeLeon asked her about it.
"I completely, like, freaked out," DeLeon recalled. "[I asked} Are you into witchcraft? and she said, ‘well, I dabbled in it.’"
Botello's Relationship With Beltran
The next witness, Dax Stevens, was with Charles Beltran the night he met Botello.
Stevens testified that the two chatted for a few minutes on the sidewalk before walking off.
Stevens said he asked Beltran about Botello the next day.
"'Messed around,' those were his words. He dropped her off because she wouldn't go to his hotel. Dropped her off near Baylor," he said.
Prosecutors maintain that Beltran actually drove Botello back to Dykes' home, where Dykes allegedly stabbed her to death when she caught Botello in bed with Beltran.
The 23-year-old's remains were found miles away in Wilmer, Texas, months after her disappearance.
Dykes allegedly disposed of her body with the help of Marano.
All three suspects were reportedly on the run before their initial arrests. One crime scene investigator described Dykes’ cluttered home during that time, as pictures were shown to jurors.
"My impression was someone was leaving fast out of the house," said Seth Rosenberg, with Dallas PD.
After their initial arrests, Dykes and Marano bonded out of jail and are accused of breaking off their ankle monitors before fleeing the country. The FBI located them in Cambodia.
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Defense Questions Jealousy Allegations
On cross-examination, the defense tried to poke holes in the state's characterization that Dykes was jealous.
[ATTORNEY: "Did he ever say anything of Ms. Dykes being jealous of him?"]
"Naw, no," said Stevens.
[ATTORNEY: "Because everybody knew Chuck was a ladies man?"]
"For the most part, yes," Stevens replied.
[ATTORNEY: "She knew Chuck was a ladies man, didn't she?"]
"Yes," Stevens said.
The defense pointed out that Dykes even let Beltran, a rapper known as 5050 Chuck, film a provocative video at her house for his song.
[ATTORNEY: "At no time did he indicate that Ms. Dykes was jealous of his womanizing, correct?"]
"No," said Fredrick Chapman, Beltran's friend.
Prosecutors say they still have more character witnesses to call to the stand to testify.
They intend to rest their case on Monday.
Before they do that, they expect Beltran to take the stand.
The trial is set to resume Thursday at 9:15 a.m.