SUMTER COUNTY, Fla.,None - The Wisconsin man accused of murdering two Sumter County women 11 years ago told the jury on Tuesday that drug dealers framed him. Bill Marquardt, a known paranoid-schizophrenic, is defending himself against double murder charges.
He was removed from a maximum security mental hospital to stand trial.
"At this trial, you'll hear that Margarita and Esperanza lived in a bad neighborhood, a drug neighborhood," said Marquardt.
Marquardt insists that it was drug dealers who killed Margarita Ruiz and Esperanza Wells in their Tarrytown cottage on March 15, 2000.
But prosecutors said they can prove who was responsible.
"He left a calling card. He left his DNA inside the home," said prosecutor Pete Magrino.
Magrino said Marquardt's DNA was found in a drop of blood inside the Ruiz home.
Detectives said Marquardt shot and stabbed the women to death- and that their blood was found on his knife.
However, Marquardt said they're wrong.
"At this trial, I'll bring up the real persons who, who had killed Margarita and Esperanza," said Marquardt.
Marquardt told the jury he used to be a drug dealer and that competitors ordered the murders and framed him with the crime.
Marquardt delivered an opening statement and cross-examined witnesses.
But his lack of legal experience triggered constant complaints from prosecutors.
Amid the constant objections, Marquardt never seemed fazed.
"You must find me not guilty on all charges. Thank you for your time," Marquardt said.
Detectives said two days before Marquardt murdered the women in Tarrytown he killed his mother in Wisconsin. For that crime, a jury found him not guilty.
A DNA expert is expected to testify on Wednesday.