Day two of a widely anticipated trial over the death of a 17-year-old girl began in Seville on Tuesday with the main suspect insisting that he does not know where the body is.
Miguel Carcaño, a former boyfriend of Marta del Castillo, told the judge that her death was accidental. "There was an ashtray in the room and I hit her with it. I don't know how I did it, I lost my cool," he said, in a version of events that mirrors what he originally told police after his arrest, but contradicts later versions that included rape prior to the murder.
Despite a huge search operation in Seville, including the Guadalquivir river - where Carcaño at one point said his friends had thrown the body - the remains of Marta del Castillo were never found. The case has attracted wide media attention, with 150 journalists covering the trial.
Besides Carcaño, three other young adults were interrogated over the events of January 24, 2009 when Marta left her house with Carcaño, never to return. A 15-year-old whom Carcaño said helped him perpetrate the crime was acquitted of the charges of rape and murder earlier this year, although he was found guilty of covering up the deed.
Carcaño, speaking calmly and slowly, said that he and Marta met at around 8.30pm at his house. They allegedly got into a five-to-ten-minute argument over Carcaño's public claims that he and Marta had slept together, which she denied. Marta then allegedly complained about Carcaño having a new girlfriend. "We got all worked up as we argued and at one point there was an ashtray in the room and I hit her," said the defendant. "I don't know how I did it, I lost my cool. She fell to the floor, there was blood and I didn't know what to do."
In this latest version of events, Carcaño said that the minor, aka El Cuco, had nothing to do with the death, that he called him and Samuel, who arrived in a red Opel Astra, and that these two took out the body in a wheelchair around 9.30pm. Asked by the prosecutor whether his friends told him what they'd done with the body, Carcaño replied that, around midnight, Samuel told him "something about the river."
Yet in March 2009, Carcaño stated that he was at home with Marta when El Cuco showed up drunk and carrying hashish. The two young men allegedly smoked and drank, then Carcaño tried to kiss Marta, who turned him away. Then he hit her. El Cuco hit her too. They took her to the bedroom, where they gagged and raped her. Then, said Carcaño at the time, El Cuco wrapped her neck with a cable until "Marta was white, with purple eyes." On Tuesday, Carcaño said that he'd made up this story to get even with El Cuco for involving his brother in the case, and because he'd been told that he could avoid trial by jury if he made up a rape story.