Arguments in the trial of 25-year-old David Munoz Diaz ended Monday after jurors heard two weeks of salacious, kink-related evidence in the 2011 murder case of 23-year-old Freddy Canul-Arguello.
The two men met in a Castro taqueria and walked together to Buena Vista Park long known to be a gay cruising ground and public sex venue and what happened after that, the defense has argued, was just a case of kinky sex gone wrong. The prosecution has tried to paint this as a case of a rage-filled, closeted man of Mexican descent who turned on his sexual partner, strangled him, and then burned the body in a panicked effort to destroy evidence, as the Examiner reports.
It's a weird case, no doubt, and jurors have been treated to a ton of sordid detail, with the defense carefully trying to describe the practice of erotic asphyxiation, which they claim Canul-Arguello was into so much so that he asked Diaz to forcefully choke him while he masturbated. According to testimony that Diaz gave last week, through an interpreter (via The Bay Area Reporter), they met at La Tortilla on Castro Street around 2 a.m. on June 10, 2011 after Diaz had been out at The Café that night. Once in the park, they weren't able to have penetrative sex because they had no condoms, so they proceeded to perform oral sex on each other.
Per the BAR:
Canul-Arguello was giving Diaz head and asked him to choke him, he testified.
"He told me he liked it," Diaz told the court. "He said it excited him and he wanted to cum."
At first, Diaz declined, but he eventually agreed, and put his hands around Canul-Arguello's throat while Canul-Arguello was performing oral sex on him. He told Diaz it "hurt," stood up, got behind him, and showed him how to do it, Diaz said.
"He placed himself behind me and he crossed his arm covering my neck," Diaz testified, holding his right arm across his throat to demonstrate.
Diaz ended up standing behind Canul-Arguello, choking him while playing with his penis near his butt, as Canul-Arguello continued touching Diaz.
He asked to be choked "a little bit harder" and corrected Diaz more than once, Diaz testified.
Then, "at a certain point, he stopped moving," Diaz said. He let go of Canul-Arguello, who fell to the ground, and then tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate him.
Diaz says that he then moved the body next to a nearby recycling bin and lit the bin on fire in order to "signal for help." He then pulled a fire alarm and called 911 about the fire. He fled the scene and proceeded to lie several times to investigators before he was ultimately arrested weeks later.
And though the prosecution has wanted to paint Diaz as a murderer, the defense had Canul-Arguello's friend testify that he had told her he liked being choked during sex, and that he even asked if she thought it was weird.
Jurors continue to deliberate as of today, and we'll update you as we learn more.