Prosecutors say the homeless man accused of strangling his girlfriend in a Times Square hotel said she did this to herself.
Prosecutors say homeless murder suspect Ernest Wright strangled his girlfriend so hard in a Times Square hotel that he crushed pieces of her neck and face, then told police the victim "somehow strangled herself."
Prosecutors said Kayla Estevez, 26, was covered in numerous bruises from head to toe when police discovered her bruised body early Wednesday at the Citizens Times Square Hotel room she rented on W. 50th St.
Wright originally said that his two-year-old girlfriend had had a seizure. According to prosecutors, after the city medical examiner determined that Estevez was a suicide victim, Wright told police that “she did this to herself.”
During Wright's arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court on Thursday night, Manhattan District Attorney Shilpa Kalra said, "This is not only concretely debunked by medical evidence, but also defies all logic and reason."
According to court documents, Wright, 28, was charged with second-degree murder and drug possession after cops discovered two ziplock bags of methamphetamines in his pocket. He was ordered to be detained without bail by a judge.
Prosecutors said the bruises on Estevez's body were "a snapshot" of how long she had been raped by Wright and the "perpetual nightmare of physical, mental, and psychological trauma" she had endured.
Wright "had been exerting his power until her last dying breath," Kalra said of the crushed chest and neck.
Estevez had been suffering from bipolar disorder for a decade and was unable to cope with her abusive ex as a result of her illness, according to relatives. According to the Daily News, the victim's family tried to provide emotional and financial assistance to Estevez, but she still returned to Wright.
Wright has been arrested 14 times in the past, including for burglary, grand larceny, and a previous domestic dispute involving another woman and close family members, according to police.
Wright pleaded guilty to choking his own brother in February 2019 and has an open domestic abuse lawsuit for kicking his elderly father in the head, according to prosecutors. Wright's father, according to The News, cut off all contact with his namesake son about six months ago.
Ernest Wright Sr., now 77, said, "I had to kick him out of my building." “In the middle of the night, he jumped me in bed... With those steel-toed boots, he was kicking me. “It still bothers me a little.”
Estevez arrived at her mother's Harlem apartment in October with Wright, who reportedly kicked in the door and refused to leave, according to police. After police said they couldn't compel the interloper to leave because Estevez wanted him to stay, Estevez's brother said he paid Wright $100 to leave.
Wright had been physically abusive with Estevez on "many occasions," according to Estevez's family, but she had still taken him back.
Michael Estambul, her older brother, told The News, "I basically told my sister, "You're going to die the way you're living your life." “And you say it, but you don't believe it will ever happen... My mother is ruined.”
Estambul remembered a previous beating by Wright that had caused his sister to have a seizure.
The victim's 30-year-old brother said, "He took advantage of every single situation." “He's a master manipulator,” says the narrator. He paid her a lot of attention, but it wasn't the right kind.