November 2, 2004
Murder suspect Wendi Andriano found herself in the cross hairs of a prosecutor Monday.
Deputy county attorney Juan Martinez spent four hours grilling Andriano, 34, on everything from her sexual history to the hours immediately after her husband’s death Oct. 8, 2000.
Again and again, Martinez pointed out what he called inconsistent statements and lies in his bid to convict Andriano of firstdegree murder in the death of Joseph Andriano, 33.
The Ahwatukee Foothills mother of two is accused of poisoning, beating and stabbing to death her terminally ill husband. If convicted, she could receive the death penalty.
While Martinez has portrayed Andriano as an uncaring and unfaithful wife who spent many nights picking up men in bars, Andriano’s attorneys have painted her as a meek and battered wife desperate for affection.
Andriano told jurors last week her husband is the one who devised a plan that would end his life on his terms and provide life insurance for their two young children. It was at his insistence, Andriano said, that she purchased an insecticide under a false name and tried to purchase extra life insurance.
Andriano said that on the day of her husband’s death he voluntarily took the poison and stabbed himself in the neck after learning she had a one-night stand. Andriano said she beat her enraged husband repeatedly with a bar stool in self-defense.
On Monday, Andriano couldn’t explain why her husband told an insurance agent one month before he died he wasn’t interested in extra life insurance. When she posed as her husband three days later and sent the same agent an e-mail saying he had changed his mind, Andriano insisted, it was at her husband’s request.
When asked why she told police her husband had never left a mark on her and yet told a domestic violence expert she’d been bruised repeatedly, Andriano insisted a mark is different from a bruise.
Martinez said Andriano was not so meek when she defied her father by living with Joe Andriano prior to their marriage, confronted her lover when he left her, barhopped and skipped three out of four of her husband’s chemotherapy treatments.
Martinez is set to continue his cross-examination this afternoon.