CLEVELAND (AP) — An attorney for an Ohio man accused of killing three women and hiding their bodies in garbage bags told jurors Friday that his client was a drug addict prone to bouts of rage and didn't plan the attacks.
Michael Madison, 38, could face the death penalty if convicted on murder charges.
In opening statements, defense attorney David Grant didn't dispute that Madison killed the women.
"Their deaths were not the result of any planning by Mr. Madison, they were the result of spontaneous eruptions of violence that were so characteristic of his behavior at that time," Grant said, according to Cleveland.com.
Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Anna Faraglia recounted details of how the victims were killed — two strangled, one by unspecified violence — and mutilated. She said Madison put the bodies in trash bags "to disguise them as garbage," according to WKYC-TV.
Madison was arrested in July 2013, shortly after the bodies were found near the East Cleveland apartment building where he lived. Jurors visited that area after hearing opening statements.
The case began in July 2013 when a cable television worker reported a putrid smell coming from a garage shared by Madison at the apartment building. Inside, police found the decaying body of a woman wrapped in garbage bags that were sealed closed with tape. The next day, searchers found bodies in the basement of a vacant house and in the backyard of a home nearby.
The victims were 38-year-old Angela Deskins, 28-year-old Shetisha Sheeley and 18-year-old Shirellda Terry.
Madison's trial is slated to continue Monday with testimony.