SANTA CRUZ -- A former roommate of a Felton man charged with the murder of his girlfriend testified Monday about seeing the couple getting drunk and fighting.
John Bradley shared a house in Boulder Creek with Deanna Dudley and Richard Chavez for several months before her death in February 2010. Chavez is on trial for first-degree murder for Dudley's death.
Bradley said he found the house through an online advertisement and moved there in September 2009. He recalled being disappointed to find Chavez and Dudley drinking on the couch the day he moved in. He said he doesn't morally object to alcohol use but has bad experiences with people who drink regularly.
"Part of the appeal (of the apartment) was that in the ad, they said they wanted to share the house with someone who doesn't use alcohol or drugs," he said.
The couple often tried to conceal their drinking from him, Bradley testified, and Chavez appeared to become intoxicated "rather quickly" when he drank, he said.
Chavez would call Dudley names and one time, he heard the two fighting outside. When they came back in, the two continued to wrestle but tried to play it off as though it was a game, Bradley testified Monday. He later saw red marks on Dudley's neck, he said.
Another time, Chavez appeared upset and jealous because Dudley hadn't come home, and he and Bradley went to look for her at a local bar.
"I got the impression she probably knew her way around all
Bradley also testified that he once saw Dudley hitting Chavez but didn't see the blows returned, and that he never saw marks on her any other time.
Dudley was killed at a home in Felton where she and Chavez moved to after Boulder Creek. Prosecutors say the couple got into an alcohol-fueled fight and Dudley was struck several times in the head with a heavy flashlight. Defense attorneys don't dispute Chavez' actions killed Dudley, but they argue it's not a case of first-degree murder. They've argued that Dudley was a heavy drinker who used prescription pills and often became violent when she drank. Prosecutors, however, say Chavez had a history of domestic abuse against Dudley and other women he was involved with.
The trial resumed Wednesday after taking a nearly two-week break for the holidays.
Follow Sentinel reporter Jessica M. Pasko on Twitter at Twitter.com/jmpasko96