Trial starts for man accused of killing pregnant girlfriend with a machete in 2014

Update 2:00 p.m.:

“Something bad” happened February 24, 2014 to Horacia Simeus.

Assistant State Attorney Reid Scott told the jurors Youvens Madeus killed Simeus in “cold blood.”

Scott argued Madeus was losing control of the relationship and Simeus was trying to get help for herself. There was a history of violence, Simeus refused to have sex with Madeus the day she was killed and a subpoena was found on the floor requesting her to appear for a conference on domestic abuse.

“She chose to stand up for herself, to make some decisions for her own life. This defendant who sits in front of you also made a choice,” Scott said. “There was a conscious decision made to kill her.”

But Madeus’s defense team argued the violent act was a mistake, not premeditation. The couple had an argument, Madeus struck her in the neck with a machete and tended to the wound on his girlfriend’s neck. Then he called 911, and stayed until authorities arrived.

“Something bad has happened to my girlfriend,” Madeus told dispatchers.

The courtroom remained mostly quite for the first few hours of the trial until bloody photos of Simeus from the day she was killed were shown. One woman was escorted outside because she became so emotional.

Original Story: More than two years after a man Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputies say hacked his pregnant girlfriend to death with a machete in 2014 starts his trial Wednesday morning.

Youvens Madeus, 27, is charged with first degree murder in the Feb. 24, 2014 death of Horacia Simeus.

Youvens Madeus (2014)

Youvens Madeus (2014)

After two days of jury selection finished Tuesday evening, Palm Beach County Circuit Court Judge Samantha Schosberg Feuer asked Madeus if he was happy with his attorneys’ choices for jurors. He did not answer.

“Let the record show that Mr. Madeus is starring blankly at me,” the judge said.

When the defense asked potential jurors about their first impression of Madeus, many said they didn’t have one. The first thing many said they noticed was he was smiling.

On Feb. 24, 2014, 27-year-old was on the phone with a victim’s advocate from the Palm Beach County State

Horacia Simeus

Horacia Simeus

Attorney’s office figuring out how to get a new restraining order against her then 24-year-old boyfriend, Madeus. The advocate later told investigators she heard a man arguing with Simeus, then the phone went dead. When deputies arrived at the sububan West Palm Beach home, they found Simeus dead with a machete next to her body. Madeus was found nearby with a bloody shirt draped over his shoulder, according to the report.

Madeus told investigators he had to kill her so he could move on with his own life.

Court records show the couple had domestic issues that went back as far as 2009. Simeus expressed fear for herself and her family regarding Madeus. Reports alleged Madeus slashed the tires on her car, kidnapped her and during at least two other incidents he used a knife to threaten her.

Soon after her death, family told The Palm Beach Post that they knew of the history of violence and tried to keep her away from Madeus, but she kept going back to him.

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