On the stand as the last witness of the second day of trial, Molly Schwister, who used to work with Nunez at a horse training facility outside Hudson, testified that Nunez “was really negative” towards his ex-girlfriend, Courtney Bradford.
“What would he say about Courtney seeing other men?” she was asked.
“He didn’t like it,” she said.
The 38-year-old Nunez is accused of murdering Bradford, 28, and her 10-year-daughter in September of 2015, then setting their home on fire and fleeing in Bradford’s vehicle. Prosecutors are trying to build a motive of jealous rage.
Investigators quickly focused on Nunez, who they learned had previously dated Bradford, even living in her house and had taken the day off work. When they tracked his cell phone, it pinged at a rest stop in northern Iowa already just hours after the murders were believed to have happened.
By late in the afternoon, it showed Nunez at O’Hare airport in Chicago. It also showed he made a phone call to a hotel in El Paso, Texas. Investigators called it then, too.
“She said Mr. Nunez was not checked in and was set to check in later that night,” testified Joe Welsch of the Wisconsin Department of Justice. “Between midnight and 4 a.m. is what they gave as a leeway to check into the hotel.”
When he called back after midnight, Nunez was there. Officers from El Paso police showed up to arrest him a short time later.
Investigators had also searched Bradford’s debit card account and discovered a purchased then canceled bus ticket to El Paso, purchased in Nunez’s name. The account also showed a purchase at a Burger King in Des Moines, followed by plane tickets to Chicago, then to El Paso.
Bradford’s OnStar system in her Chevy located it at the Des Moines airport. The officers who found it testified how it appeared someone had tried to disable that system, wires hanging from the area near the rear view mirror.
Back in Wisconsin, investigators searched the motel room in Hudson where Nunez had been living, including the dumpster that was out back. They actually had the dumpster hauled away first, “so we wouldn’t attract attention searching the dumpster in the back parking lot” said Dean Fayerweather, a St. Croix County investigator.
In the dumpster, in a clear plastic bag, they found a pair of camouflage shoes that witnesses say were the ones Nunez wore. On those shoes, witnesses are expected to testify later this week, blood that matches the DNA of Bradford.
The trial is set to go into next week, with the defense taking over perhaps on Friday.