Defense for man accused of killing ex-girlfriend in Worcester restaurant calls one witness, rests

WORCESTER, Mass — The prosecution and defense rested their cases Thursday in the trial of the man accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend in a Worcester. Prosecutors wrapped up with technical experts who explained how Carlos Asencio allegedly used a cell phone to track down Amanda Dabrowski the day of the murder.

The defense called one lone witness, a clinical and forensic psychologist to testify to his mental fitness.

“You don’t plan an escape route if you don’t plan to escape,” said Dr. Paul Zeizel.

He testified Thursday that Asencio planned to kill Dabrowski and then kill himself.

He says the night of the murder July 3, 2019-- Asencio was in the middle of a mental health episode during which he was hearing voices and suffering hallucinations.

The doctor said Asencio told him during one of their interviews the voices have come and gone since his early 20s he also allegedly detailed a childhood full of abuse.

“He would get punched by his father. Get punched in the face. His father assaulted him, and broke his clavicle bone.”

Abuse Asencio never reported, Zeizel testified, because he feared being taken away from his family.

Asencio met Dabrowski at work. They dated briefly before she broke it off around March of 2019.

“He had strong feelings, obsessional thinking about her,” Zeizel said.

The doctor described Asencio’s mental break coming to a peak post-breakup with Dabrowski.

And as 25 Investigates has documented, Asencio is accused of trying to kill Dabrowski once before. It was an April, 2019 home invasion attack at her apartment in Ayer in the middle of the night.

“He had broken into Amanda’s house,” Zeizel said. Adding he was hearing voices that said “kill Amanda and yourself.”

As we’ve reported, Dabrowski fought him off during the initial attack and Asencio fled driving north, to Montreal, Canada hopping a flight to Cancun, Mexico. Zeizel said he spent a couple of months there before re-entering the U.S. through McAllen, Texas and making his way back to Massachusetts.

But the prosecution says at that point, Asencio meticulously planned a second attack on Dabrowski, including taping this cell phone to her car to track her to O’Connors restaurant where Dabrowski was stabbed 58 times in 55 seconds.

A Worcester police detective described an app he found on the phone.

“It gives the name of the application, ‘Google Find My Device,’ said Joseph Essex of the Worcester Police Department. “It gives a description that includes the version, and then it also gives a timestamp. And under the timestamp, it says purchase date. And then it’s a July 1st of 2019.”

After resting, the prosecution began calling rebuttal witnesses, including a doctor who also interviewed Asencio and reviewed records.

“At no time had he reported any delusions. He was very reality-based. Even though he reported he heard voices at times, he was not distracted,” testified Dr. Margarita Daou, a forensic psychiatrist.

Testimony continues Friday. But the judge told the jury they’d finish up all evidence early in the day.

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