SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Jurors reached verdicts Friday in the trial of a Mira Mesa man accused of beating and choking his wife to death, but they will be held until Monday morning.
David Ditto, 44, is charged with murder in the death of his 38-year-old wife, Karina.
Jurors began deliberating late Wednesday afternoon, met all day Thursday and informed the court after about 30 minutes this morning that they had reached verdicts.
Court officials said the reading of the verdicts was delayed because not all of the main participants in the trial could make it to the downtown courthouse Friday.
The defendant testified earlier this week that his wife went upstairs to use the bathroom the night of March 11 when he heard a cat screech and a loud "thud, thud, thud, thud, thud" coming down the stairs.
Ditto said he got off the couch and found his wife lying at the base of the stairs.
Paramedics and firefighters who responded to the 911 call shortly before 1 a.m. expected to see a victim injured from a fall, but what they found was very different, prosecutor Claudine Ruiz said.
Paramedics noted that there were injuries to the victim's right temple and a cut to the back of her head, but there was no active bleeding even though the victim was covered in blood, according to the prosecutor.
The defendant also had scratches on his face from his wife fighting back, the prosecutor alleged.
A firefighter was concerned about the circumstances under which the woman was found and called police, Ruiz said.
The victim suffered a brain injury from lack of oxygen and was taken off life support two days later.
Nurses looking after Karina Ditto hours before she died on March 14 noticed extensive bruising on her body, according to the prosecutor.
Ruiz said the last two years of the couple's 16-year marriage had been like a roller-coaster ride, and Karina Ditto was "ready to get off."
Ditto faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted.
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