Witness brought to tears in the Juan Nino Estrada trial - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Witness brought to tears in the Juan Nino Estrada trial


A witness brought to tears on the stand Wednesday as she answered questions about Juan Nino Estrada, the man accused in the death of two people on Sioux City's west side last November.

The witness, Mariah Thomas, is the long-term girlfriend of Estrada.

Mariah says she spent the early hours of November 8, 2013 in a state of confusion after her boyfriend of 8 years, Juan Nino Estrada, arrived at her apartment with two open and bleeding wounds.

Juan Nino Estrada is on trial for the murder of Yolanda Valdez and Michael Delgado in a home on West 27th Street in Sioux City.

Mariah Thomas says her nephew Tevon, as well as Estrada, knocked on the window of her apartment, and when she answered, they were both bleeding, Tevon from the mouth, and Juan from both legs.

She asked Tevon what happened.

"I just remember the first thing that came out of his mouth was, 'Nino got shot.' And I'm like, what? by who?," Mariah Thomas said.

Thomas told the courtroom she noticed Estrada had a gun as they crawled in the window, and took it from him, hiding it under the mattress.

She said it was the same gun she gave Estrada when she bonded him out of jail, just weeks previously.

Then she suggested they go to the hospital.

"I said, 'We need to go to the hospital. You've been shot.'"

Prosecutor "And what was his response?"

"He said no."

"Did that upset you?"


Thomas says she didn't call 911 because Estrada asked her not to, then dropped her nephew Tevon off and went to Hy-Vee to buy medical supplies for Estrada's wounds.

She says the entire time, she had no idea what had happened, or what was going on.

"I asked over and over throughout the whole night, from when he came to my apartment to when the police officers came," Mariah Thomas said.

"And what was his response?"

"Don't worry about it."

Thomas says Estrada was acting "paranoid" all night, and kept accusing her of cheating on him.

Eventually, around three a.m., she says the police arrived.

"He just grabbed me, and he hugged me, and he told me over and over that he loved me," Thomas said.

"Did he say he was going to jail?"


After Mariah Thomas's testimony, her sister and roommate Ashley Thomas took the stand.

Ashley said she found a gun in their apartment, a gun police said Tevon Thomas admitted to having, and threw it away, but later called the police, who retrieved it.

Then, Erika Nino Estrada, the sister of the defendant, took the stand.

At the end of the day, a member of security personnel told the court that it looked as if someone in the audience was feeding Erika her answers.

The judge ordered that the audience member not be allowed back tomorrow.

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