AURORA | Seventeen years after Kimmy Greene disappeared from her Aurora home without a trace, leaving behind a troubled marriage and two young daughters, her husband went on trial last week for Greene’s murder.
Michael Medina, 42, — the man Kimmy’s family has always suspected killed her and who is already serving 48 years for killing his 16-month-old son — stands accused of bludgeoning Greene and burying her body in a field.
A grand jury indicted Medina last year for Greene’s murder.
The trial, which is scheduled to last three weeks, appears to hinge on a confession police say Medina made to his new girlfriend in 2005, just days before he drowned the couple’s son in a drainage pond near Monte Vista.
That 2005 confession, prosecutors say, is the strongest piece of evidence showing Medina, who has a long history of domestic violence, killed Greene when she tried to end the marriage. In it, police say Medina detailed driving Greene to a field, beating her with a bat and burying her alive.
Medina’s lawyers said in their opening argument Thursday that the confession was “fiction,” one Medina made up to scare his new girlfriend into staying with him and a tale that doesn’t match some of the few verifiable facts in the case.
And, they argued, prosecutors don’t have any other evidence showing Medina killed his wife.
“What you are not going to hear is any evidence that Mrs. Medina died at the hand of Mr. Medina,” said Rebekka Adams-Higgs, one of the public defenders representing Medina.
Police never found Greene’s body, and they never found a murder weapon. There were also no witnesses to the crime, or physical evidence like blood in the couple’s Aurora apartment.
Adams-Higgs said the couple had a volatile relationship, one marked by violence and a series of break-ups. Several times before that day in October 1996, Greene left Medina only to later reconcile, she said. The night she disappeared was another one of those moments where Greene walked away from the relationship, Adams-Higgs said.
“That night, she left alive,” Adams-Higgs said.
She added that Greene was jealous of her friends who had time to party and “wasn’t into the mommy thing.”
But prosecutors said Greene didn’t have the financial means or the know how to abandon her family and friends and start life anew.
Deputy District Attorney John Kellner said Greene dropped out of school at 15 when she got pregnant with her and Medina’s first daughter. When she disappeared at 19, the family was barely scraping by financially.
Investigators have worked with the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Border Patrol searching for a scrap of evidence that Greene is still alive, Kellner said. Each search has turned up nothing.
“There is no record of Kim since 1996,” he said.