Lehigh Valley

Jonathan Nunez to police: 'It was like watching a monster take over'

Man accused of killing Kimberly Cardona on July 4, 2012

Accused killer to police: 'It was like watching a monster take over'

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - A Lehigh County jury heard the firsthand account of a brutal killing from the accused killer himself.

The prosecution in Jonathan Nunez's murder trial played Friday a taped police interview with Nunez in which he explained how he beat and killed Kimberly Cardona.

"It was an out of body experience. It was like watching a monster take over," Nunez said during the interview.

For most of the day Friday, the jury watched the August 2012 conversation, which was recorded about a month after Nunez admitted he killed Cardona, 20, of Whitehall Twp., Lehigh Co.

Nunez first repeatedly denied committing the crime, telling police, "The truth is I didn't kill Kim."

After several hours and with a mountain of evidence in front of him, however, Nunez changed his tune about the course of events on July 4, 2012.

Nunez told police that after he and Cardona had sex on Lanze Road in Salisbury Township, they got into an argument over drugs. He could be heard telling police he slapped a lighter from Cardona's mouth. Nunez said Cardona then slapped him, spit on him and cut him with a box cutter. That's when Nunez said he snapped.

Nunez told police he beat the woman until he panicked when he saw car headlights coming from the highway.

Nunez said he returned home, showered, got stitches for his wound, and then returned to find Cardona still alive, gurgling and cold.

Nunez, now 21, tearfully told police he used a knife to slash her throat before shoving her body into the woods.

The jury also heard Nunez tell police that after the crime he couldn't sleep, threw up and fled to the Dominican Republic because he didn't know what else to do.

The defense is arguing that Nunez was drunk and high and that the jury should convict him of the lesser charge of third degree murder instead of first degree murder.

Nunez's mother took the stand for the defense Friday. She testified she became concerned with her son's drug use while he was still in high school.

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