Texas woman who fled to Cambodia ahead of trial found guilty of murder in stabbing of Seattle woman

Dec 13, 2023, 5:04 PM

DALLAS (AP) — A Texas woman who cut off her ankle monitor and fled the country while awaiting trial last year was found guilty of murder on Wednesday in the fatal stabbing of a 23-year-old Seattle woman. She was sentenced to life in prison.

A jury in Dallas convicted Lisa Dykes of murder and tampering with evidence in the 2020 killing of Marisela Botello-Valadez following a seven-day trial. Dykes, 60, showed no emotion as a judge read the verdict aloud, according to KDFW-TV.

A lawyer for Dykes, Heath Harris, said his client maintains she is innocent and has already filed paperwork to appeal the verdict.

A spokesperson for the Dallas County District Attorney’s office did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

The conviction comes days after prosecutors had dropped murder charges against two people who they’d previously accused of Botello-Valadez’s killing. The two, Nina Marano and Charles Anthony Beltran, still face trial on charges of tampering with evidence.

Prosecutors moved to dismiss the murder charges soon after Beltran took the witness stand.

The 34-year-old testified last week that he lived with Marano and Dykes. He said he met Botello-Valadez at a nightclub and the two went to his house, where they had sex. He said he fell asleep and awoke to screaming as Dykes stabbed Botello-Valadez. Under questioning by Harris, Beltran acknowledged that he initially lied to investigators about what had happened.

The three were arrested six months after Botello-Valadez went missing in October 2020. Her remains were found in some woods months after she was reported missing in Dallas.

The case drew international attention last year when Dykes and Marano, 52, cut off their ankle monitors while free on bond. Authorities said they eventually turned up in Cambodia, where they were arrested by local police with help from the FBI.

United States News

Associated Press

Shooting at a party in Alabama’s capital leaves 13 injured, officials say

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A shooting at a crowded party in Alabama’s capital left 13 people injured — nine of whom were shot, officials said Sunday. Four other people were injured in the subsequent chaos. Mayor Steven L. Reed said in a statement that police and medics responded to reports of gunshot victims at 1:46 […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Millions in the US prepare for more sweltering heat as floodwaters inundate parts of the Midwest

Millions of Americans prepared to sweat through yet another scorching day, with the potential for rolling storms later Sunday to bring relief from the sweltering heat for at least some. Floodwaters inundated parts of the Midwest, including a town in Iowa evacuated after being submerged up to the rooftops. Across the country in California, daily […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Suspect seen fleeing Ohio shooting that wounded 10 sought, police say

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Authorities are seeking a suspect seen fleeing an early morning shooting in Ohio’s capital that sent 10 people to hospitals, one in critical condition. Columbus police said officers dispatched to the Short North Arts District north of the downtown area just before 2:30 a.m. Sunday found six people with gunshot wounds. […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Philadelphia police officer shot by fleeing suspect is in critical condition

A Philadelphia police officer was shot in the neck and was in critical condition Saturday night, officials said. The 31-year-old officer was in critical condition and undergoing surgery at Temple University Hospital, Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel said during a news conference outside the hospital. The officer, a veteran of more than six years on the […]

15 hours ago

Associated Press

A fourth victim has died a day after a shooting at an Arkansas grocery store, police say

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Police say a fourth victim has died a day after a shooting at an Arkansas grocery store. The person died Saturday evening, Arkansas state police said in a statement. A total of 14 people were wounded in Friday’s shooting, according to police: “11 civilians, two law enforcement officers and the […]

15 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, Saturda...

Associated Press

Trump endorses Ten Commandments in schools, implores evangelical Christians to vote in November

Trump endorsed displaying the Ten Commandments in schools while speaking to a group of politically influential evangelical Christians.

16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

Texas woman who fled to Cambodia ahead of trial found guilty of murder in stabbing of Seattle woman