FRESNO, Calif. -- Three women, who lived in the Fresno home where investigators say a man was killed, and a woman tortured, took the stand. They're witnesses in the case against Margaret Alaniz and Anthony Nunez.
All three women said the suspects who are not related to them, took over the home. They also said three young children were home and the adults were high on meth during the stabbing death of Oscar Seja.
Margaret Alaniz showed no reaction as three generations of one family told jurors about how she moved in and took control of the home on McKenzie Avenue. The house was rented by a grandmother, who testified she asked Alaniz what happened to the woman identified as Jane Doe who had severe burns and injuries on her face and body.
The grandmother said, "That she was a working girl and she had got picked up by a trick and he had messed her up."
The judge would not allow us to show the faces of any witnesses. A mother of three said she initially moved out the home with her children after an argument with Alaniz. But returned the day of the murder. She described watching the violence unfold in the kitchen.
The witness said, "She was just stabbing him everywhere. She was stabbing him in his heart, in his legs, in his back. He was telling her to stop, he was screaming and yelling."
Each witness who took the stand told the court they smoked meth with Anthony Nunez and Alaniz. When one defense attorney asked the grandma if she allowed the suspects to stay with her for free drugs, she denied it.
Some of the women who testified said they helped clean up the crime scene with bleach. One witness said she assisted so the children wouldn't step in blood.
Witnesses told the court they heard Alaniz yelling at Seja before he was killed. Asking him repeatedly what happened between him and a woman who police say was a hostage.
If convicted, the suspects could serve up to life in prison.
That hostage, who is only being identified as Jane Doe, cried as she told the court about being hog tied, stabbed, and then having a toxic chemical poured on her body before watching a man get stabbed to death.
Alaniz wore a turtleneck, blazer and glasses in court. A very different appearance from the woman arrested two years ago, accused of crimes so heinous and inhumane they even stunned police.
Investigators say Alaniz went by the name "C-Loca" and her accomplice, Nunez, was known as "Troubles." Together, investigators say they murdered Oscar Seja.
Troubles and C-Loca began assaulting Seja, Troubles gained control and held him on the ground while C-Loca grabbed a knife and stabbed him repeatedly.
Seja died, and the hostage says she watched him get bludgeoned to death after she was tortured, tied up with electrical cords and confined to a closet.
"She used her fists, but that wasn't enough for her at this point. She grabbed a 40-ounce beer bottle and started hitting me on my face and head with that. That wasn't enough for her, she grabbed a sword and then cut me on my leg first, and then my arms."
The female victim never knew the suspects until prosecutors say she knocked on their door, in search of her stolen bike, and they invited her in to eventually be tortured.
Jurors were shown graphic pictures of the burns that prosecutors say were caused when Alaniz poured jewelry tester on the unnamed woman.
"I feel a constant burn. My skin is forever on fire. And from the vapors of the chemical that she burned me with, I have no taste buds. I cannot taste any of the food that I eat. Everything tastes like poison," the woman said shortly after she was released from the hospital.
Before the murder, police say Seja raped the woman being held captive. Prosecutors say the sex act angered the suspects because he did it without permission.
Seja was then killed, but the attorney representing Alaniz - Gerald Schwab - says there's no evidence his client was the one who stabbed him to death.
"Bottom line, Margaret's fingerprints are not on the knife. Nobody saw Margaret stab Oscar," Schwab said.
Seja's body was wrapped in plastic and carpet and buried in the basement of the home. The burn victim told the court she helped Nunez carry the body there, in exchange for her release.
Attorneys for the suspects say it is possible the two may take the stand in their own defense.
Witness describes being tortured before watching man stabbed to death