News reports regarding Eileen's death.
Eileen Garnreiter, Lawndale woman killed by husband, remembered in Walk for Change
Eileen Garnreiter of Lawndale was stabbed to death by her husband in 2011. The Walk for Change on Oct. 27, is being held in her honor to raise money to support domestic violence education programs in South Bay high schools.
Family members of a Lawndale woman who was stabbed to death by her husband have scheduled a Walk for Change on Oct. 27 to raise money to support domestic violence education programs in South Bay high schools.
The event, in memory of 22-year-old Eileen Garnreiter, is set for 8:30 a.m. at Zamperini Football Stadium, south of Torrance High School at 2125 Lincoln Ave. in Torrance.
“There are no walks in the South Bay that we’ve been able to find that focus their attention on domestic violence,” said Garnreiter’s aunt, Cathy Johnson. “We wanted to start one.”
Participants who sign up to walk laps for the Eileen’s Foundation event will seek pledges from friends. Organizers hope each person will collect $250.
For each $500 raised, the foundation will purchase a “Complete Respect Works Model” kit from Break the Cycle, an organization that provides dating abuse-prevention programs for young people. The kits will be donated to local schools.
Johnson said she hopes the lessons will help teens learn how to recognize domestic violence so that Garnreiter’s death is not in vain.
“On her behalf, we want to change these statistics that are growing every day,” Johnson said.
Futures Without Violence, a San Francisco-based organization devoted to reducing teenage domestic violence, reports on its website that one in three adolescent girls in the United States falls victim to physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner.
Johnson said family members did not fully recognize the signs that placed Garnreiter’s life in danger the night her husband killed her. That night, she planned to leave him.
“The day they decide to leave, that’s the most dangerous in a domestic relationship,” Johnson said.
Tymarc Warren Jr., 28, stabbed Garnreiter to death on Jan. 8, 2011, in their Lawndale apartment just weeks after she gave birth to their daughter.
A Torrance jury convicted Warren of first-degree murder. His sentencing is scheduled for Friday, but is expected to be postponed. Warren will receive a sentence of 26 years to life in prison.
Warren’s defense attorney told the jury that Warren was a victim of post-traumatic stress disorder from serving with the Army in Iraq, where he experienced war, explosions and injuries to friends.
During his trial, Warren said he became angry and grabbed his wife in a headlock, but she grabbed a knife and tried to stab him. He claimed he twisted the knife around to protect himself and stabbed Garnreiter in the neck.
Prosecutors, however, presented evidence that showed Warren punched Garnreiter, choked her and stabbed 16 times all over her body, including a wound that went entirely through her neck.
Johnson has said Garnreiter was a domestic violence victim throughout her relationship with Warren. She said Garnreiter ultimately wanted to leave him because he had begun abusing their daughter, who has since been adopted by her grandmother.
After the Walk for Change, friends and family will hold a celebration of Garnreiter’s life at 4 p.m. at the Firehouse Bar in Lomita, where she worked as a bartender.
To sign up for the walk, go to www.eileensfoundation.org/.
Judge calls for end to delays in Lawndale murder trial of Tymarc Warren
By Brian Charles Staff Writer
email@example.com @JBrianCharles on Twitter
Posted: 04/23/2013 04:34:45 PM PDT
Updated: 04/23/2013 04:47:20 PM PDT
A Lawndale man accused of murdering his girlfriend in front of the couple's 3-week-old baby appeared in Torrance Superior Court on Tuesday in a case that has dragged on for more than two years.
Tymarc Warren recently underwent a psychological review, which has caused further delays in the court proceedings. But Judge Steven Van Sicklen told attorneys for both the prosecution and the defense Tuesday that Warren's case needs to move to trial quickly.
"Enough is enough at this point," the judge said. "It's getting crazy with all these delays. "
The psychological reviews performed by both the prosecution and the defense have not been released to the public.
Warren was arrested in January 2011 and charged with murdering his girlfriend, Eileen Elizabeth Garnreiter, 22, of Lawndale. Warren allegedly stabbed Garnreiter several times during a domestic dispute.
Garnreiter played on the 2007 El Camino College softball team and was planning to start studying international law at UCLA in the spring of 2011.
Employees at the Firehouse Bar in Lomita, where Garnreiter worked, held a fundraiser to benefit her weeks old daughter. Custody of the infant, Layla, was turned over to Garnreiter's mother weeks after the stabbing.
At the time of his arrest, Warren had what appeared to be self-inflicted superficial cuts on his wrists that were not considered life-threatening.
During his court appearance Tuesday, Warren fidgeted in his seat. He wore blue jail scrubs with a yellow top, clothing associated with inmates who suffer from mental illness.
The man accused in the Jan. 8, 2011, killing, offered short, one-word answers when the judge asked whether Warren understood his right to a speedy trial and that, by waiving time, his trial would be further delayed. Both attorney asked for time to review the psychological reports in advance of the jury trial.
Warren, who is being held on $1 million bail, will return to court June 19 for what Van Sicklen said he hopes will be the last pretrial hearing. Trial is expected to begin in July.
: Lawndale man killed girlfriend because of Iraq War service
A defense attorney admitted to a Torrance jury Monday that her client killed his girlfriend just weeks after she gave birth to their daughter, but blamed the brutal stabbing on post-traumatic stress disorder from serving four years as a soldier in Iraq.
"It's horrific," attorney Louisa Pensanti told jurors as trial for Tymarc Daimarque Warren Jr. opened in Torrance Superior Court. "This named disease of post-traumautic stress caused a trained soldier to react how we wanted him to on foreign soil -- that is, if you feel attacked, you will fight with all your might."
Warren is charged with first-degree murder for killing his girlfriend, Eileen Garnreiter, 22, inside their Lawndale apartment on Jan. 8, 2011. Deputy District Attorney Frank Dunnick told jurors in his opening statement that Warren became extremely angry at the 25-year-old woman, strangled her and stabbed her repeatedly because she was planning to leave him when their relationship soured.
The trial won't be about whether or not Warren killed Garnreiter. He confessed to detectives after the killing that he committed the crime. The case will be about whether Warren is guilty of murder, as prosecutors believe, or manslaughter, which the defense hopes will spare Warren from a life sentence.
Garnreiter, a former El Camino College softball player, died less than one month after giving birth to the couple's daughter, Layla. Warren cared for her and the baby in their apartment, but Garnreiter often drove to her mother's house in Carson, distraught over their relationship. Her mother, Yesenia Nash, testified that she sometimes saw her daughter park outside her house and cry.
The couple's relationship, Nash said, was tense. Warren verbally abused her, ridiculing her weight, her cooking and her driving. Warren criticized a mobile Nash bought to hang over the baby's crib, she said, having a "meltdown because it was blue."
"I told her that she deserved better," the mother said. "She deserved a better man. Layla deserved a better father."
In the final week of her life, Garnreiter decided to move home with her mother. The last night, Garnreiter talked on the phone, texted and wrote posts on Facebook, where one update from Warren indicated he believed she was ready to see other men.
Warren knocked at the door about midnight. Nash told him to leave.
"He said, 'I don't care about Eileen,' " Nash said. " 'I'm just here for the baby.' "
Nash closed the door on him, but her daughter went outside to talk. In a decision that would prove fatal, Garnreiter returned to the house, collected her belongings and decided to go home with Warren. Nash said she walked her daughter and the baby to the car, telling her she should stay. They hugged and expressed their love for each other.
"She told me I better go home before things get worse," Nash said. "And I never saw her again."
Early the next morning, Rosecrans Avenue resident Helen Walker heard screams come from the apartment above hers.
"It was really, really loud," Walker testified. "I heard a male voice say something to the female. Then, she said, 'Stop! Stop! Stop!' "
Walker looked at her clock. It was 1 a.m. It became quiet. She heard the footsteps of someone walking around upstairs. About 10 minutes later, someone began buzzing the front gate to the apartment complex and someone ran up the outside stairs.
"I heard a baby scream," Walker recalled. "I heard someone say, 'Oh Marc, Marc, what have you done? What have you done? What have you done?' "
The voice, the prosecutor said, was Warren's father, who was sent to the apartment by Warren's sister, Tataneasha McDaniel. Warren had called McDaniel to tell her Garnreiter was dead. Warren had attempted to slit his wrists.
The grandfather grabbed the baby, who was covered with blood, Dunnick said. Homicide detectives arrived soon and arrested Warren, a former sergeant in a U.S. Army airborne division out of Fort Benning, Ga.
Pensanti said Warren signed up for the Army about a year after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. He soon was sent to Iraq, where he watched people die in combat.
"You will hear how he suffered the effects of that war along with his other soldiers," Pesanti told the jury. "The terrorism went on for our soldiers. The effects were such that Tymarc was affected by the horror that he saw. He's not alone. The statistics about suicide and homicide are incredible. They don't get help when they get back at all."
Defense attorneys are increasingly using post-traumatic stress disorder in defense cases involving veterans. A University of North Carolina School of Medicine study published last year said that one-third of 1,388 veterans who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars after 9/11 said they had committed an act of aggression toward others. Eleven percent reported more serious violence.
The trial in Judge Steven Van Sicklen's courtroom is expected to last two weeks.
says son accused of murder suffered from nightmares from Iraq duty
The father of a U.S. Army veteran accused of murdering his girlfriend in Lawndale testified Wednesday that his son was "different" when he returned home from two tours of duty in Iraq, suffering nightmares, attempting suicide and requiring medication.
Tymarc Warren Sr., whose 28-year-old son, Tymarc Warren Jr., is charged with stabbing his girlfriend to death on Jan. 8, 2011, testified during his son's trial in Torrance Superior Court that the former sergeant encountered a mortar attack on his first day in Iraq in 2002 and later witnessed the death of a friend.
"He kind of scared me a couple times," the father said of his son's return home. "He woke up one day in a cold sweat and talked about his buddy being blown up."
Warren confessed to choking and stabbing 22-year-old Eileen Garnreiter to death inside their Rosecrans Avenue apartment after his arrest, prosecutors said. The crime occurred about a month after Garnreiter gave birth to their daughter.
Prosecutors contend Warren is guilty of first-degree murder, alleging he killed Garnreiter because she planned to leave him and take the baby. The defense contends he is guilty only of manslaughter, having committed the crime because he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder from two tours in Iraq.
A pathologist with the Coroner's Department testified Wednesday that Garnreiter was choked and stabbed five times, including four wounds considered fatal to her neck, chest and body. Garnreiter also suffered numerous slash and poking wounds, and cuts to her hands and arms as she tried to protect herself, Los Angeles County Deputy Medical Examiner Lisa Scheinin said.
The killing occurred less than two hours after Warren persuaded Garnreiter to return home with him from her mother's house, where she had sought refuge when her relationship with Warren soured. Authorities claim Garnreiter was verbally abused by her husband.
During testimony Wednesday, Warren's father described rushing to the apartment the couple shared and breaking open the door when his daughter told him she feared something had happened there. Garnreiter was lying face down on the kitchen floor. His son had his arm over her.
"Tymarc asked me to grab the baby," the father said. "She was fine. Tymarc grabbed the knife and said, 'I don't want to live.' "
The younger Warren began stabbing himself until his father wrestled the knife away. Deputies arrived to take him into custody.
Deputy Casey Cheshier said he found Warren on the floor next to Garnreiter's body, and that he immediately confessed.
" 'I killed her because I have hate in my heart,' " Cheshier recalled him saying.
Warren told Cheshier that he stabbed Garnreiter and shoved the knife into her throat when she grabbed it, confessing again, " 'I have the devil and hate in my heart. I stabbed her and then I cut my wrists,' " Cheshier recalled.
Warren father said his son changed following his four years in Iraq. During occasional phone conversations, the son described the death of a friend and seeing trucks in a convoy blown up in front of his own truck. Warren was a sergeant, responsible for several men.
The father said his son was especially affected by a video the soldiers were required to watch about beheadings.
"He said the sound of the beheadings got to him," the father said, adding that his son talked about taking his own life to avoid such a demise. "He said, 'Dad, these guys are right over the fence.' "
Warren received an honorable discharge after four years and returned home, the father said. In 2008, he traveled to Oklahoma to train with the FAA to become an air traffic controller. He was fired.
"He was very distraught," the father said.
One morning, the younger Warren did not come out of his room. The father said he opened the door and found his son had taken pills.
"He said, 'I don't want to live,' " the father said. Warren Jr. went to a Veterans Administration hospital and was given medication.
Warren later met Garnreiter while both attended classes at El Camino College near Torrance. The father described them as a loving couple, saying, "Eileen was good for Tymarc" because she helped him cope with the residuals of war.
"When he came back from Iraq, Tymarc was different," the father said. "The nightmares that he had when she was there, she was able to comfort him. ... He needed someone to help him sleep. She helped him sleep."
After the baby was born, Warren Sr. nicknamed his son "Mr. Mom" for taking care of his daughter, bathing her and feeding her as Garnreiter recovered from a C-section. He said the couple appeared to be happy when they visited him on New Year's Day, just a week before Garnreiter was killed.
Accused murderer describes Lawndale killing in court, saying 'I just got so mad.'
Weeping and at times shouting on the witness stand, an Iraq war veteran described in court Friday how he stabbed his girlfriend to death in their Lawndale apartment during a fight when she decided to leave him and take their newborn daughter.
Tymarc Warren Jr., 28, whose defense for the Jan. 8, 2011, killing of 19-year-old Eileen Garnreiter centers on suffering post-traumatic stress disorder from two tours of duty with the U.S. Army, said Garnreiter shoved him against a stove, grabbed his testicles and pulled a knife on him during a fight in their Rosecrans Avenue apartment.
"I just got so mad," Warren said, testifying on his own behalf during his first-degree murder trial in Torrance Superior Court. "I didn't know what to do. No way I could let her go. I was too afraid so I just started on focusing the knife towards her and at some point, I just lost it. ... I pushed it in. She let go of it."
Jurors appeared riveted by the chilling and dramatic confession, something not often seen in a courtroom. Warren described for nearly three hours, from late Thursday to late Friday, his life in the Army, his positive and negative experiences in Iraq, his three suicide attempts, his relationship with Garnreiter when he returned home, and the morning he killed her.
Prosecutors contend he is guilty of first-degree murder, but Warren's defense attorney, Louisa Pensanti, is trying to persuade jurors to reduce his conviction to manslaughter, which would earn him a much lesser prison term.
Warren, wearing a black suit, dark tie, and dark-framed glasses with his hair neatly combed, said he decided to join the Army following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States when he was a 16-year-old football player at Leuzinger High School.
"The idea occurred to me at that time we needed soldiers," he said. About a week after graduation in 2002, he went off to boot camp, where he learned to jump from airplanes.
From there, he was sent to Iraq as a sergeant. He volunteered to join a convoy team, riding across the Iraqi desert providing security for communications equipment on its way to troops.
On one journey, a roadside bomb exploded. Although Warren was unhurt in the blast, his "battle buddy" Casey Traxler's internal organs were damaged from the shock wave. His friend was unconscious as he was taken away.
"I learned they don't make soldiers like in the movies because immediately everybody started yelling, 'We're going to die! We're going to die!' " Warren said.
Warren recalled three other experiences that shaped his time in Iraq:
- He sought treatment for an injured knee at a Camp Ramadi hospital. A woman was brought in screaming, her legs blown off by a bomb.
- He watched a video of the Taliban beheading a man.
- He hallucinated as he remained awake for three days on duty. Another sergeant angered him by playing heavy metal "death" music, triggering a nightmare when he dozed off. Warren said he climbed into a trash container and put his rifle in his mouth to kill himself. The gun jammed. He told a friend and was evaluated for 72 hours, but was returned to duty.
Once Warren returned home to Lawndale, he met Garnreiter and traveled to Oklahoma City to train as an FAA air traffic controller. He was fired when he made a threatening remark to another trainee. He returned to Southern California and could not find a job.
Unable to pay his bills, and with Garnreiter angry at him, he attempted suicide with medication prescribed to him to help him sleep. The attempt failed, Warren said, when his father found him in bed.
Warren described his relationship with Garnreiter as "loving." She worked two bartending jobs, and he got a position with the U.S. Census Bureau. He proposed to Garnreiter on Valentine's Day in 2010. She learned she was pregnant a month later.
"I was very excited," Warren said. "I always felt that I would be a good father and a teacher to my kids, that I could explain to them what life was ... and raise a good citizen."
But Warren began gambling, playing Texas hold'em at the Hustler Casino in Gardena. He said life was good when he won, but he lost $6,000 and went to Gamblers Anonymous classes.
"That sparked issues in our relationship," Warren said. "She told me she was not going to tolerate my gambling and if I continued to gamble, she was going to leave me."
Warren said he looked after his girlfriend, fed and changed the baby, and cleaned the house after Layla was born. But two weeks later, he refused to accompany Garnreiter to the doctor when she put on a sweatsuit and refused to comb her hair. He stayed in the car.
"I said, 'You are a reflection of me. If you don't want to comb your hair, why should I sit next to you?' " Warren recalled.
The conflict angered Garnreiter and her mother, Yesenia Nash, he said. Warren said Garnreiter began to go out and drink with friends, leaving him home with the baby. He said he and Nash battled over his care of the baby.
Two days before the killing, the couple argued over their medical premiums. The 2010 census count over, Warren said he could not afford increases in their health care costs. Nash suggested she take custody of the baby to put the infant on her medical insurance. Warren, against that plan, tried unsuccessfully to get the Veterans Administration to cover his child.
"I felt a little down," Warren said. "I called Eileen. She said, 'You need to do something to figure this out.' "
He went home depressed and watched movies. When Garnreiter arrived home, she told him she was tired of his depression and described their relationship as "roommates." Garnreiter drove her and the baby to her mother's house, and posted on Facebook that she was leaving him, he said.
"She said that she no longer wanted to be with me," Warren explained. "I told her that's fine. I was going to come over to get the baby."
He drove to her mother's house, but was not allowed inside.
"She started yelling at me -- 'We aren't functioning. Right now we can't even give her health care,' " Warren said.
Warren said he told Garnreiter that he blamed their relationship problems on her mother's interference and drove away. He spoke on the telephone to his sister, telling her he wasn't sure "if life was worth fighting for."
"I asked her what the point of life is," he said.
Warren said he checked Garnreiter's Facebook page when he arrived home to Lawndale. He found a posting from Garnreiter that called his sister a "whore." His sister called angry about it, and Warren responded with "I am going to bust her in the face."
Prosecutors are using that statement in attempt to prove a premeditated crime.
Garnreiter, Warren said, soon arrived home with the infant to pick up her belongings, but he convinced her to spend the night.
"I said, 'See baby? Momma and Daddy can work it out,' " Warren said, crying.
But Garnreiter, he said, became angry after seeing a Facebook post from his sister, responding to the whore remark.
Speaking as if in a stream of consciousness on the stand, looking down and rambling, Warren described how he took the baby and fed her a bottle. He encouraged Garnreiter to pack a bag and leave. She responded by telling him he was the one who was going to leave.
"She just started fighting me," he said. "She rams me against the stove. She grabs my (testicles) and started squeezing tight. She has a knife. I don't know when she grabbed that."
Warren said he took hold of her wrist and went for the knife. His voice raised and he shouted as he recounted the struggle.
"I said, 'Babe, put the knife down!' She said, 'Let go of me,' " he recalled. "I grabbed her throat and I kept yelling, 'Put the knife down!' I said, 'Put the (expletive) knife down!' "
Warren said he grabbed the knife as Garnreiter pushed it toward him. He turned it toward her.
"And the rest, I don't know. She fell," Warren said. Seeing blood on the baby, he feared she was hurt and ran into the bathroom to wash her. The baby was unharmed.
"I crawled in the bathtub and said, 'Eileen, I'm sorry.' " Warren said, adding he told his newborn, "I didn't mean to hurt Mommy, baby. I didn't mean to hurt Mommy.' I started cutting my wrists."
He found his phone and called his sister, telling her Garnreiter was dead and he had slit his wrists. The sister called her father, who arrived minutes later and called 9-1-1.
Warren said he did not remember telling a sheriff's deputy that he stabbed Garnreiter because he had the devil and hate in his heart.
"The next thing I remember is getting fingerprinted," he said.
Deputy District Attorney Frank Dunnick will cross-examine Warren on Monday.
Psychiatrists differ on whether Army vet has PTSD
An Iraq War veteran did not suffer from post-traumatic distress disorder when he stabbed his girlfriend to death in their Lawndale apartment, a psychiatrist for the prosecution testified Tuesday.
Psychiatrist Peter Collins said Tymarc Warren Jr.’s mental state did not meet the psychiatric community’s definition of PTSD, which countered a defense psychiatrist who previously testified that Warren suffered from “complex post-traumatic stress disorder.”
“It’s just not there,” Collins told a Torrance Superior Court jury during the prosecution’s rebuttal phase of the trial. “At the end of the day, he does not have PTSD.”
Warren is charged with first-degree murder in the killing of 22-year-old Eileen Garnreiter on Jan. 8, 2011, less than a month after she gave birth to their daughter.
Warren confessed to the crime, but his attorney contends he should be convicted of the lesser charge of manslaughter because he suffers from PTSD due to serving two tours of duty in the U.S. Army in Iraq.
Michael Perrotti, a clinical and forensic neuropsychologist based in Orange County, testified for the defense on Friday and Monday, saying his evaluations of Warren indicated he suffers from PTSD because he suffered abuse as a child, had a friend injured by a mortar during a convoy, encountered a woman who had lost her legs in an explosion and watched a video showing Taliban soldiers beheading a reporter.
In his dreams, Warren inserted himself as the decapitation victim, Perrotti said.
“He speaks and he hears a voice, but it’s not really his voice,” Perrotti testified. “He thinks, but at times he doesn’t think it’s his thoughts.”
Perrotti evaluated Warren following his arrest on killing Garnreiter. She was stabbed three times in the right side of her neck, suffering wounds that went at least 5 inches deep and one that exited through the other side. She also had numerous cuts over her body.
The former El Camino College athlete died on the kitchen floor shortly after she arrived home at their apartment to collect her belongings. Warren testified that he grabbed her around the neck when she shoved him against the stove, causing him to nearly drop their daughter. He said that when she grabbed the knife with her left hand and tried to stab him, he twisted it into the right side of her neck. Prosecutors contend the move was physically impossible.
Warren slashed his wrists after the killing and told arriving sheriff’s deputies he “had hate in his heart.”
Prosecutors contend Warren killed Garnreiter because she was leaving him and taking the baby.
Testimony Monday and Tuesday centered on whether Warren indeed suffered from PTSD. Collins said he did not meet the recognized criteria, which include intense fear and helplessness that takes over a person’s life, recurring dreams, a lack of interest in every day life, major depression, insomnia and estrangement from others after witnessing a traumatic event.
Collins, a staff psychiatrist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto who treated coalition soldiers while serving with the Canadian military in Afghanistan, said he conducted tests on Warren and interviewed him. Warren’s reactions to coming home from war were normal, Collins said, adding Warren himself said experiences at war did not affect him.
“He had every opportunity to tell me otherwise,” Collins said under questioning from defense attorney Louisa Pensanti. “At the end of the day, he doesn’t have PTSD.”
The PTSD testimony followed the culmination of Warren’s own testimony during his defense case. During three days on the witness stand, Warren admitted to stabbing his girlfriend during the fight.
On Tuesday, Warren said he had taught Garnreiter some defense tactics because she worked in a bar. When they began fighting, he said he lost control.
“It was like the color went black-and-white and everything sounded like it was underwater,” he said. “All I could hear was my heart beating — fear, betrayal.”
As he said earlier in the trial, Warren said he had Garnreiter in a headlock and told her to put down the knife. She grabbed his testicles, he said.
“At some point in time I had enough,” Warren said. “I just lost it. It was a reaction.”
Warren, choking back tears on the stand, said he never believed Garnreiter would try to kill him and he has thought his action could have been different.
“In hindsight, I beat myself up about what would happen if I let her go,” he said. “But in that situation. I didn’t think — I reacted.”
Prosecutor calls accused killer’s PTSD defense “offensive”
An Iraq War veteran’s excuse that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder when he stabbed his girlfriend to death in Lawndale is “offensive,” a prosecutor argued Wednesday as he asked a Torrance jury to find the man guilty of first-degree murder.
But Tymarc Warren Jr.’s mental condition from his wartime experiences in the U.S. Army should merit a conviction for the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter in the Jan. 8, 2011 slaying, Warren’s attorney Louisa Pensanti said.
“I’m not even asking you to find him not guilty,” Pensanti told jurors during her closing argument in the weeklong case. “I’m asking you to find him guilty of manslaughter because that’s what the crime is.”
Deputy District Attorney Frank Dunnick scoffed at Pensanti’s argument, saying the brutal stabbing of 22-year-old Eileen Garnreiter was premeditated. Warren punched Garnreiter in the eye, crushed her airway and caused her facial capillaries to burst as he choked her. He also cut her 16 times with a knife, including plunging it three times into her neck.
Garnreiter, who also suffered another fatal wound to her chest, died with sliced hands that showed she put them up in a futile effort to defend herself, Dunnick said.
“In a matter of moments, Eileen goes from holding her baby to using those hands to fight for her life,” Dunnick said. “That is evidence of a concerted attack. Mr. Warren was attacking her and she was fending him off.”
Warren’s father called 9-1-1 that morning when he discovered his son lying on the floor in a pool of blood next to Garnreiter’s lifeless body in their Rosecrans Avenue apartment. Authorities said Warren, then 25, slit his wrists in a suicide attempt after stabbing her.
The killing occurred less than a month after Garnreiter gave birth to Warren’s daughter, who was splattered with blood, but unhurt.
Testifying on his own behalf during his trial, Warren said the stabbing occurred shortly after Garnreiter told him she was tired of his depressed behavior and was leaving him. She arrived home to collect her belongings and became angry when she saw a post on Facebook from Warren’s sister, who threatened to punch Garnreiter for calling her a “whore” in another post. Garnreiter, Warren said, shoved him as he held their baby, making him angry.
He grabbed Garnreiter around the throat and ordered her to calm down, but she grabbed a knife and his testicles. Warren said she stabbed him in the leg, so he twisted the knife in her left hand and shoved it into the right side of her neck.
Dunnick presented a demonstration using live models to show jurors the move was physically impossible. Warren’s account also did not explain the number of stab wounds on Garnreiter’s body, but he said he could not remember much of what happened, saying everything went into “black-and-white,” like he was underwater.
Throughout the trial and during her closing argument, Pensanti presented evidence to show Warren had changed following two tours of duty in Iraq. Warren decided to join the military after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The former Leuzinger High School student returned different, and not as the outgoing high school football player he once was.
In Iraq, he experienced a mortar attack that injured a friend and watched a video of someone being decapitated, she said. He suffered from sweats and nightmares when he returned home, refused to come out of his bedroom and could not sleep. A psychologist for the defense diagnosed him with PTSD.
“At the time of the crime, Warren suffered from PTSD,” Pensanti told the jury. “He talks about the acts occurring, but it’s otherworldly. It takes you out of reality. It’s not something you can make happen or have an intention to happen.”
In her attempt to reduce the conviction to manslaughter, Pensanti said the crime occurred in a “heat of passion.” Warren reacted when he was provoked by Garnreiter, who squeezed his testicles.
“Having your (testicles) crushed in somebody’s hands, in somebody’s fist, is provocation,” the attorney said.
Dunnick, however, said Warren provoked the fight by grabbing Garnreiter around the neck and choking her. Dunnick also cited the testimony of a psychiatrist who testified Tuesday for the prosecution that Warren might have been depressed, but did not meet the criteria for a PTSD diagnosis.
“Folks, PTSD is very real. It’s just not in this case,” Dunnick said. “Mr. Warren’s service in the military ... is very commendable. Trying to reference Sept. 11 as well as military service is in this light frankly offensive.”
Jurors began deliberating about 4 p.m. Wednesday and will continue today. They can choose first-degree murder, second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter or acquittal.
“There is a child without a mother and a mother without a child,” Dunnick said. “We deserve justice and a fair and impartial decision. I ask you to hold Mr. Warren accountable for the first-degree murder of Eileen Garnreiter.”
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