DUBLIN, Calif. — A suspect in the killing of a 19-year-old woman found stabbed and covered in blood by the side of a road said he snapped after she elbowed him and never meant to kill her.
Daniel Gross said he reacted in self-defense but would not elaborate on how his friend Lizette Cuesta ended up stabbed multiple times near a road in Livermore.
“I didn’t plan to do this at all,” Gross, 19, told Oakland station KTVU in a Wednesday interview at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin.
Gross said the confrontation Monday happened after he and Cuesta had sex in the back of his fiance Melissa Leonardo’s car as Leonardo drove. He said all three smoked marijuana that night and that Cuesta had agreed to be tied up with a yellow rope before the sexual encounter.
Investigators with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office found a rope at the spot where Cuesta was abandoned in Livermore.
Cuesta had been out in cold weather for several hours and had crawled on her stomach about 100 yards before she was found Monday around 2 a.m. by people driving by, Alameda County sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly said.
Shortly before dying at a hospital, Cuesta told investigators who had attacked her, Kelly said.
Gross said he, Cuesta and Leonardo worked together at a fast food restaurant in Tracy.
Prosecutors on Wednesday charged Gross and 25-year-old Leonardo with murder.
During a court hearing, a judge ejected several of Cuesta’s relatives after they yelled at Leonardo “you’ll get what you deserve!”
Cuesta’s father, Ray Cuesta, told KGO-TV that Lizette brought justice for herself before dying by naming her the people who attacked her.
Ray Cuesta told the station “everybody knows how tough she was.”
The couple is scheduled were arraigned on the murder charges Thursday.
Information from: KTVU-TV.