A Texan woman has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of a tourist she found in bed with her boyfriend three years ago, following a conviction of murder and evidence tampering.
Lisa Dykes, 60, was found guilty by a Dallas County jury in the killing of 23-year-old Marisela Botello-Valadez, who had traveled from Seattle to Dallas in October 2020 to visit a friend, Fox 4, WFAA, and NBC5 reported.
Botello-Valadez disappeared after going out alone to nightclubs in Deep Ellum, where she met Charles Beltran. Prosecutors argued that Dykes, engaged in a complex relationship involving Beltran and her wife, Nina Marano, entered a “jealous rage” upon discovering Botello-Valadez in bed with Beltran, leading to the fatal stabbing.
Dykes claimed during the trial that Beltran was merely a business associate, and she disposed of Botello-Valadez’s body. The victim’s body was discovered five months later in Wilmer, Texas, told CBS News.
Dykes and Marano were initially arrested in Florida in March 2021 but were rearrested in February 2022 after allegedly fleeing to Cambodia upon removing their ankle monitors. Beltran was taken into custody in Utah in April 2021.
Evidence presented during the trial included cell phone records indicating the three were together at Dykes and Beltran’s Mesquite, Texas home on the last known day Botello-Valadez was alive.
A search of the residence uncovered signs of cleaning, with streaks resembling blood found beneath the carpet. Dykes’ defense attorney argued sudden passion played a role in the crime. Despite testifying during the trial, Beltran and Marano had murder charges against them dismissed by the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office.
During the sentencing, Botello-Valadez’s brother expressed his family’s resilience and wished that Dykes would “get what [she] deserves in that prison cell.” Dykes’ attorney has filed a notice of appeal.