A Florida man accused of murdering his girlfriend wants to show his penis to the jury as evidence that he accidentally choked her to death during consensual oral sex.
Broward County Police arrested Richard Henry Patterson, 65, in November 2015, and charged him with second-degree murder in the death of 60-year-old Francisca Marquinez, his girlfriend of four months.
The 65-year-old suspect allegedly admitted that he choked Marquinez to death, but has declined to explain the exact circumstances.
Now, Patterson’s attorney, Ken Padowitz, is arguing that Marquinez accidentally choked to death while performing oral sex on his client.
In a motion to the court, he said a former medical examiner will testify that the woman’s death is consistent with being accidentally sexually asphyxiated during oral sex.
Padowitz wants the judge to allow Patterson to show the jury his penis as evidence for his defense, according to the Florida Sun-Sentinel. The attorney said he plans to prove the victim’s death was an accident that happened during consensual sexual activity.
Investigators first learned of the death when a neighbor called police after she knocked on Marquinez’s door and Patterson answered.
He claimed Marquinez was sleeping.
When officers arrived, they found her body lying face down on a bed. Investigators said she had been dead for between eight and 24 hours, according to Local10.com.
Detectives found a blood stain on a door in the living room, as well as a bag in the kitchen that contained tissues and paper towels stained with blood and semen.
One of her fingers had blood on it, and it appeared that someone had tried to clean it.
According to an arrest warrant, Patterson sent vague text messages to his daughter on the same day the body was discovered.
“Your dad did something really bad last night and I’m so so sorry,” he wrote, according to the Florida Sun-Sentinel.
An autopsy on Marquinez showed no signs of trauma or bruises on her neck, but noted that her body was in an early stage of decomposition, so some bruising was more difficult to detect with certainty.
“[Patterson] said he choked her,” Padowitz said, according to the paper. “He never said he strangled her.”
Padowitz said if the judge balks at Patterson dropping drawers in the courtroom, he’d consider introducing a mold of his client’s penis as evidence.
New York-based criminal defense lawyer Stephanie Legros-Willis calls Padowitz’s request “quite absurd and unheard of,” but admits it could work.
“Although bizarre, this may aid in the defense of Patterson, as according to the autopsy, there was no signs of trauma and no bruises to her neck,” she told HuffPost by email. However, it must be taken into consideration how the jurors may react to this type of defense.
She said that defense lawyers will have to be extra careful during jury selection to ensure jurors don’t use this approach against Patterson.