Theresa Enrique was stabbed to death in 2012 just three weeks after arriving in Okotoks, Alta. The second-degree murder trial for her boyfriend Carlos Pelaez began Monday.

Theresa Enrique

Theresa Enrique died in April 2012 just three weeks after she moved to Canada from the Philippines to be with her boyfriend. (Submitted by the Enrique family)

The 27-year-old moved from the Philippines to join Pelaez in Okotoks in late March 2012. 

Pelaez, who immigrated from the Philippines to Canada in 2011, had a job at McDonald's and had secured a position for Enrique. 

Ronaldo Enrique, who was 18 years older than his sister, testified that Enrique was initially happy with the move but began to feel that Pelaez was very controlling. 

"She felt like she was in prison," he said.

"She could not leave by herself. She could not stand it anymore. She was really afraid of what he may do towards her."

Enrique had packed her things and was in process of booking a ticket back to Manila, her brother testified. 

On April 17, Pelaez knocked on one of his neighbours' doors, covered in blood, badly injured himself and asking for help. 

The neighbour, who happened to be an off-duty police officer, went back to the couple's apartment that they shared with roommates. 

There, the officer says the woman was on the floor gasping for breath.

Enrique died in an ambulance on the way to a hospital. 

"When she was little, I took care of her, I was the one who would change her diapers," said Ronaldo Enrique on Monday.

"I bathed her, I fed her, I took her to school. Whenever she had problems she would come to me for advice."

Pelaez, 30, sat quietly Monday in the prisoner's box as his interpreter whispered to him.

Corrections

  • Carlos Pelaez was initially charged with first-degree murder, but those charges were downgraded to second-degree murder.
    Feb 11, 2014 2:58 PM MT
With files from Meghan Grant/CBC