Convicted Murderer Loses Appeal, Will Serve Life In Prison

L.P. Phillips
January 21, 2020 - 2:01 pm
Faustino Valdez

Dallas County Sheriff’s Department

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DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - An appeals court has ruled against a Dallas man who was convicted of killing a popular Northpark hairdresser, throwing her body off an I-20 bridge then fleeing to Mexico.

Faustino Valdez is serving a life prison term for the murder of Marison Espinoza.

Espinoza disappeared after she left for work in December, 2015. At first, Valdez, who was living with Espinoza, took part in the frantic search. He claimed to have seen her off to work, and that it was out of the ordinary when she vanished.

"Without her telling anybody anything? No. She wouldn't do this. It's not like her. It's not." he said.

Days later Valdez fled to Mexico.

Espinoza's body was found in the Trinity River bottom off I 20 near Dowdy Ferry Road. By then decomposition made it impossible for the medical examiner to determine the cause of death.

Valdez was found several months later and extradited back to Dallas County to face trial. A jury convicted Valdez of murder and sentenced him to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

In his appeal, lawyers for Valdez contested evidence put before the jury, including a letter that prosecutors say was written by Valdez and crime scene photos on the day Espinoza's body was recovered.

The 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas has upheld both the conviction and sentence.