• Lynda Cohen

Murder trial begins in 2015 Hamilton Township killing

Updated: May 14

An extramarital affair turned deadly, according to the state’s opening statement in a Hamilton Township murder case. Dennis Munoz had become obsessed with Michael Black, who was having an affair with Munoz’s wife, Chelsea, Assistant Prosecutor Rick McKelvey told jurors Monday. “I’m gonna have to kill him now, you understand,” Munoz wrote in a text message to Chelsea, McKelvey said. On Nov. 9, 2015, Black was shot in the chest as he took out the trash at his Elmhurst Avenue home. He was able to run back inside and call 911. “I know exactly who shot me,” he told the operator in a 911 call that will be played at trial. “His name is Wolf.” Wolf was the name Munoz gave himself, McKelvey said. The state alleges Munoz’s cousin Edwin Velazquez drove him to the crime scene, then acted as his getaway driver. Both men went on trial Monday. But just because they are being tried together doesn’t mean the jurors should view them as one, Velazquez’s attorney, Meg Hoerner cautioned the seven men and seven women who make up the jury. “What are we hearing about Edwin?” she told them to ask themselves as the witnesses testify. The answer, she said, will be “not a lot.”

McKelvey said it will be the two co-defendants who tell the story of what happened. He noted that Munoz — who had sent numerous text messages to his wife about Black — told investigators he didn’t really know the victim, McKelvey said. He also said that he was home the day of the killing. But cell phone records paint and even video showing Munoz and Velazquez at Walmart that day will tell a different story, McKelvey promised. “A person can confess to a crime without ever saying, ‘I did it,’” McKelvey told the jurors several times. “(The defendants’) denials speak volumes.” Jurors were given a lunch break following openings. Trial will resume this afternoon with the state’s first witnesses.

Wife of accused killer could play big role in murder trial

The wife of a man accused in a 2015 Hamilton Township killing could play prominently in his murder trial next month.Dennis J. Munoz, now 40, is charged with shooting Michael Black in the chest Nov. 9, 2015, in Hamilton Township.Munoz and alleged accomplice Edwin Velazquez will go on trial April 8.Recorded calls Munoz made to… Read more...


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