Murderpedia

 

 

Juan Ignacio Blanco  

 

home

last updates

MALE murderers

by country

by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
   

FEMALE murderers

by country

by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
   

 

 

 
 

Amber Lynn TRUDELL

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Her first trial ended in a hung jury
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: September 26, 2003
Date of arrest: October 23, 2003
Date of birth: April 14, 1975
Victim profile: Michael Albert Dojaquez, 45 (her yoga instructor-lover)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Pima County, Arizona, USA
Status: Sentenced to 13 years in prison on October 17, 2005
 
 

 
 

photo gallery 1

photo gallery 2

 
 

 

The Court of Appeals
State of Arizona

 

The State of Arizona v. Amber Lynn Trudell

 
 

 
 

Killer of yoga instructor sentenced to 13 years

By Brad Poole - TucsonCitizen.com

October 18, 2005

A Tucson woman who killed a local yoga instructor was sentenced yesterday to 13 years for second-degree murder.

Amber Lynn Trudell, 30, was convicted July 15 of second-degree murder in the death of Michael Albert Dojaquez, 45, who was found shot to death on his front porch Sept. 26, 2003. Her first trial ended in a hung jury in March.

During the sentencing hearing in Pima County Superior Court, Judge Richard S. Fields heard testimony from Dojaquez’s ex-wife, Tracy Wise; two of his daughters, Vanessa Dojaquez, 15, and Brianna Dojaquez, 20; his younger brother, Robert Dojaquez; and his mother, Lydia Dojaquez.

Brianna Dojaquez will miss the times she had with her father, who took her to the Gaslight Theatre to see plays and took her in costumes to a Renaissance fair, she said.

She regrets that his grandchildren, including her son, will never see him again.

“They’ll never know what a wonderful person he was and the wonderful things he brought to this world,” she said.

The defense called Trudell’s grandmother, Ethel H. Jones, 87, to testify by telephone. She lives out of state and said she is worried that she might not get to see Amber again if the sentence is long, she said.

Jones asked for a light sentence so Amber could become a productive citizen.

“She could go out and get some more education and get a good job and become a resident of a community,” she said.

The Dojaquez family has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from Michael’s friends and the entire community since his slaying, Lydia Dojaquez said.

“Mike was important to us, of course, but we never realized what he had found out in the world,” she said of her son’s life after he left Arivaca, where he grew up.

After her testimony, she turned to Trudell.

“And may God forgive the young lady,” she said quietly.

Trudell will have to serve 85 percent of the 13-year sentence, with credit for 725 days already served. She will then serve one day of probation for every day she serves in prison, Fields said.

Trudell, who had an affair with Dojaquez, claimed he had become despondent after having beaten and sexually assaulted her. He grabbed her hand, which was holding a handgun, forced the weapon to his forehead and pulled the trigger, she testified.

The defense claimed Trudell killed Dojaquez after he asked to end their relationship.


Trudell Sentenced for Yoga Instructor's Murder

By J.D. Wallace - TucsonNewsMow.com

October 17, 2005

Pictures of Michael Dojaquez show a happiness and zest for life that the 45-year-old yoga instructor was known for, but his family says they're nothing compared to the real thing.

"My son will never get to hear him say, "Keep it squeezy," or "Oom-bop-uh-loom-bop-a-wang-bang-boom." He'll never get to hear that again. All I have now are pictures and memories,” said Brianna Dojaquez, the 20-year-old daughter of Michael Dojaquez, in court on Monday.

Dojaquez was shot to death in September 2003. His lover, 30-year-old Amber Trudell, was convicted of second degree murder in her second trial, after the first ended in a hung jury. At her sentencing on Monday, she displayed little emotion as Dojaquez's daughters, brother, and mother weighed in.

"The world has a lot of sadness, and has a lot of wrong things with it, and he was the perfect antidote,” said Lydia Dojaquez, Michael Dojaquez’s mother.

"I can only think that you are a woman with no conscience and no guilt. And for you to pull the trigger that night and kill my brother, I have not yet found it in my heart to forgive you,” said Robert Dojaquez, Michael Dojaquez’s brother.

Prosecutor Kathleen Mayer requested the maximum sentence, 16 years. She said that even if Trudell didn't plan Dojaquez's murder, she drew the gun that would kill him. But Public Defender Tom Martin wanted ten years for Trudell. He said that Trudell's sexual abuse as a child has possibly clouded her judgement through life.

"Michael would not be up here demanding the maximum sentence for her because of the humanistic view of life he had,” Tom Martin said.

Ultimately, neither side would be happy, as Trudell received 13 years.

"I think it was unfair. I think she should have got more than 13. I think she should have got more than 16. I think she should have gotten the rest of her life, because that's how long I get to spend without my dad,” Brianna Dojaquez said.

Public Defender Tom Martin says he’ll likely appeal Trudell’s sentence.


Jury: Trudell killed yoga teacher

By La Monica Everett-Haynes and A.J. Flick - TucsonCitizen.com

July 16, 2005

The conviction of Amber Lynn Trudell brought relief to the family of a slain yoga instructor.

Trudell, on trial a second time in the killing of her yoga instructor- lover, was convicted yesterday of second-degree murder. This time, jurors said it was easy to conclude that Trudell, 30, killed Michael Albert Dojaquez, 45, who was found shot to death on the porch of his home, near North Sparkman Boulevard and North Country Club Road, on Sept. 26, 2003.

Trudell may receive 10 to 22 years in prison. Even without the sentencing, Robert Dojaquez, the victim’s brother, said the conviction has brought some serenity.

“My brother’s soul can finally rest, and it gives us some satisfaction and trust in the justice system,” he said. “There is a certain degree of closure, but not a day goes by that I don’t want to pick up the phone and call my brother.”

The conviction comes more than three months after a Pima County Superior Court judge declared a hung jury in Trudell’s first trial.

Jurors reached agreement this time.

“She told us she had the gun in her hand, it was a proven fact that it was loaded, and she told us she allowed it to be pointed to his head,” juror Nathan Wilson said after the verdict.

Deputy County Attorney Kathleen Mayer said while she had hoped the jury would convict Trudell of first-degree murder, which requires premeditation, she wasn’t surprised at the verdict.

“It’s awfully hard to prove premeditation when no one really knows what happened,” said Mayer, who took over the case after Susan Eazer, who prosecuted Trudell during the first trial, left the Pima County Attorney’s Office.

Trudell, an accountant, was married when she met Michael Dojaquez at Yoga Oasis, 2631 N. Campbell Ave. According to testimony, Trudell took group classes with Dojaquez, then private classes with him. Soon after they met, the couple had an affair.

In both trials, Trudell insisted that Dojaquez became angry when she wanted to leave his house to return to her husband.

Trudell said Dojaquez sexually assaulted and beat her but was so contrite about it that he became suicidal, grabbing her hand with the pistol and pointing it to his forehead, forcing her to pull the trigger.

The day after Dojaquez was killed, Trudell left with her husband for Show Low, where they buried the pistol. Within a week, Trudell had moved to New York state without her husband. There, she was arrested on Oct. 23, 2003. The status of their marriage was not immediately clear.

Prosecutors at both trials argued that it was out of character for Dojaquez to become so violent. They also argued that Trudell shot Dojaquez because he wanted to break off their relationship, as he had told friends.

“The facts were in line with the parts of law that would convict her, at least on second-degree murder,” Wilson said.

It was Trudell’s testimony that left the jury with enough confidence to give her the conviction, he said.

“Her testimony was one of the only things we had to go by,” he said.

After the verdict, several of Dojaquez’s family members met in the lobby to hug and thank members of the jury.

Albert Dojaquez, the victim’s father, said it would take time before he could express his feelings, but he spoke fondly of his son.

“He never did hurt anybody. He would help anyone,” Dojaquez said. “He was a very caring person.”

That’s something Trudell likely would not understand, said Robert Dojaquez.

“To this day, she does not realize the value of this man’s life,” he said. “Her lack of emotion – she had no conscience, no remorse. Had she realized, she wouldn’t have killed my brother.”

Judge Michael J. Cruikshank, taking over the trial for the vacationing Judge Richard S. Fields, set July 26 as the day to determine the sentencing date.


Trudell to be retried for murder June 28

By A.J. Flick - TucsonCitizen.com

April 7, 2005

Amber Lynn Trudell, 29, will stand trial for a second time in the slaying of her lover, Michael Albert Dojaquez, 45.

Pima County Superior Court Judge Richard S. Fields set a June 28 trial date for Trudell, whose first trial ended in a hung jury.

Prosecutors again are seeking a first-degree murder conviction against Trudell. Jurors in the first trial split on first-degree or second-degree murder, and manslaughter.

Trudell testified last month that Dojaquez pulled the trigger because he was despondent that she was returning to her husband.

Prosecutors say Trudell shot Dojaquez because he refused to marry her.

Trudell fled Tucson immediately after the killing and was arrested in New York state.


State to retry Trudell in slaying

By David L. Teibel - TucsonCitizen.com

March 30, 2005

The prosecutor in the trial of a woman accused of killing her yoga instructor-lover says the state will retry the case after a judge declared a hung jury yesterday.

Jurors deliberating the fate of Amber Lynn Trudell believed she killed Michael Albert Dojaquez, but they could not agree on the level of homicide, one of the jurors later said.

Jurors were considering charges of first-degree murder, second-degree murder or manslaughter against Trudell, 29.

Superior Court Judge Pro Tem Frank Dawley declared the hung jury yesterday after questioning each of the jurors.

Dawley set a case status conference for April 6 before Superior Court Judge Richard S. Fields. Dawley was presiding over jury deliberations while Fields, the trial judge, is on vacation.

Jim Swope, a former medical claims processor and the only juror to tell Dawley further deliberations might help, said in the final vote of the eight-man, four-woman jury that nine jurors voted for first-degree murder, two for second-degree murder and one for manslaughter. Dawley’s hung-jury declaration came after an unusual courtroom twist about 2 1/2 hours earlier.

Jurors returned to court yesterday morning to hear additional closing statements from attorneys after the jury, during deliberations Friday, asked Dawley to clarify elements of first- and second-degree murder.

While Dawley gave jurors written answers to such things as the meaning of “sudden quarrel,” “heat of passion” and “reflection,” attorneys asked to reopen closing statements to discuss those matters.

Closing arguments had wrapped up last week, and jury deliberations began Thursday.

Swope said the second round of closing arguments had a “major” effect on how fellow jurors voted.

In yesterday’s closing statements, prosecutor Susan Eazer told jurors that Trudell and Dojaquez, 45, continued a quarrel the night he was killed, with Trudell wanting him to marry her and Dojaquez spurning the married woman.

The couple went out drinking together Sept. 25, 2003, and about 1 the next morning returned to Dojaquez’s home on North Sparkman Boulevard, where he was later killed.

Eazer told jurors the quarrel was ongoing and not in the heat of passion, noting that Trudell got her pistol, put it to Dojaquez’s forehead and shot him to death on his front porch.

Eazer told jurors there was no evidence Trudell was beaten or sexually assaulted the night of the killing, as Trudell had testified.

Trudell testified that after she was raped, she got her gun, screamed, “I didn’t deserve this,” trashed Dojaquez’s house and was leaving when he confronted her on the porch. Dojaquez apologized, Trudell said, took her hand with the gun in it, put it to his forehead and fired.

Assistant Public Defender Suzanne Crawford argued that if Trudell should be convicted, it should be for manslaughter because the shooting was not premeditated.

“Michael Dojaquez raped Amber Trudell,” Crawford told jurors. “She is being portrayed as the villain, and he is being portrayed as a saint,” which Crawford said is not true.


Suspect brought here in yoga teacher killing

By David L. Teibel - TucsonCitizen.com

November 18, 2003

A woman arrested in New York in the slaying of local yoga instructor Michael Albert Dojaquez is back in Tucson to face a first-degree murder charge.

Amber Lynn Trudell, 28, was returned from upstate New York, where she was arrested by deputy U.S. marshals and New York state police late last month.

She waived extradition proceedings and was booked into the Pima County Jail Saturday. She was ordered held on $1 million bail at an initial court appearance Sunday, authorities said.

Trudell was returned here without incident, said Deputy Dawn Barkman, a sheriff’s spokeswoman. The Sheriff’s Department is responsible for extradition transportation and operates the county jail. The homicide is under investigation by city police.

After police obtained an Arizona arrest warrant, Trudell was taken into custody at a relative’s home in Ogdensburg, a town of about 12,000 in rural upstate New York.

Trudell had been held in the St. Lawrence County Jail in Canton, N.Y. She is charged in the Sept. 26 slaying of Dojaquez, 45.

A neighbor found Dojaquez shot to death on the front porch of his home on North Sparkman Boulevard, near North Country Club and East Grant roads, said Sgt. Marco Borboa, a police spokesman.

Police believe Trudell knew Dojaquez through the Yoga Oasis, 2631 N. Campbell Ave. Borboa said. He said they may have known each other for more than a year. A court document in New York said Trudell and Dojaquez had a relationship.

Authorities believe Trudell left Arizona on Oct. 7 and drove to Connecticut and then to New York.

 

 

 
 
 
 
contact