Illegal immigrant headed to trial for Wyoming murder

Raul Perez allegedly admitted to strangling Karla Guadalupe-Magaña

Raul Perez in court for a preliminary hearing. (Nov. 16, 2016)

WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — A Mexican man who has been deported twice will stand trial in the death of a woman in Wyoming.

Police say Raul Perez confessed to strangling Karla Guadalupe-Magaña.

Perez, 43, wasn’t supposed to be in the U.S., having been deported twice since 2005. He was picked up for drunk driving four days before the murder, but the information between local police and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that would have kept Perez behind bars never made it to the right people, so he was released.

Four days later, police say, he killed Guadalupe-Magaña in his apartment.

The decision to send Perez to trial came after testimony from his own daughter. During her father’s preliminary hearing Wednesday, Kimberly Perez told the court she picked up her father and the victim and drove them to her father’s nearby apartment on the night of Oct. 25. About 4 a.m. the next morning, she got a call from her father.

“He just says, ‘I did something really bad.’ And I’m like, ‘What are you talking about?’ He’s like, ‘Oh, I killed the lady we went to go pick up,'” Kimberly Perez told the court.

At first she didn’t believe her father, but she eventually called police. They followed her to the apartment. She went in to find her father drunk and passed out in a bedroom.

“Then I just see, like, a body there. But it was covered with a towel to the face to the knees,” Kimberly Perez recalled.

Karla Guadalupe-Magaña
An undated courtesy photo of Karla Guadalupe-Magaña.

Raul Perez would later tell detectives he was pursuing a romantic relationship with Guadalupe-Magaña, but she wanted to see other people. The victim got a call from someone who Perez assumed was another man. When she tried to leave, the two fought.

“He said at some point he put both of his hands around her neck and killed her,” Wyoming Police Detective Robert Robinson testified.

Despite questions from the defense regarding Perez’s drunken state and language barrier during questioning, the judge found there was enough evidence to bind Perez over to stand trial.