A girl set to testify against her mother's accused killer didn't get the chance Wednesday.
But what she told her grandmother about the attack was recounted for a jury hearing the case against Noel Montes Sosa.
Sosa, 33, of Oklahoma City, is charged with first-degree murder in the strangulation death of girlfriend Sarita Aguilar, 27.
Aguilar was found dead about 2:30 a.m. July 10, 2011, in her apartment at 6013 NW 10 after police were called about a disturbance.
Billie Aguilar, the victim's mother, took the stand and said the girl, 7, opened up to her about what happened the night her mother was killed.
Aguilar told jurors the girl said she watched Sosa choke her mother and tried to pull him off but was unsuccessful.
“She was hitting him on the arm, saying ‘why are you doing this?'” Aguilar testified the girl told her.
Three of Sarita Aguilar's six children were with her the night she was killed, prosecutors said.
She was holding her 4-year-old daughter when Sosa started choking her, the grandmother said the girl told her.
The girl said she took the younger sibling from her mother after the attack began.
The girl recounted that when Sosa got off her mother and went outside “all of a sudden she opened her eyes” and told her daughter, “Mommy is going to heaven,” Aguilar testified.
Sosa returned and “kept on choking her until she was dead,” the grandmother testified the girl said.
Child breaks down
The girl, now 9, took the stand Wednesday but broke down and started crying before answering a question and was removed as a witness, prosecutors said.
Defense attorneys told jurors Sosa didn't kill Aguilar but did not offer another suspect.
Gustavo Calix, who was staying with the couple, testified through an interpreter Wednesday that he was awakened by yelling coming from an upstairs loft. Calix said he heard Sosa calling Aguilar a Spanish name for prostitute.
“Sarita, don't do this to me, don't do this to me,” Calix testified hearing Sosa say before Calix said he walked outside with the girl.
He said he didn't call police because Sosa threatened to kick him out if he did. A neighbor called 911.
The victim's sister testified about the couple's violent relationship, telling the jury the victim stayed with her for a couple of days after showing up with bruises and bite marks from the defendant.