A Jefferson Parish grand jury has handed up a two-count indictment of a Kenner man accused of killing a co-worker in a dispute over a woman, chopping up his body and disposing of the remains in St. James Parish.
Viusqui Perez Espinosa, 44, was charged Thursday with second-degree murder and obstruction of justice stemming from the Nov. 11 incident, in which authorities say Perez killed Ivis Alexis Portales Lara, 27, after Portales moved in with a woman Perez had previously dated.
The two men worked together at a scaffolding company.
Police had been investigating the discovery of a severed arm found floating in a canal in Reserve on Dec. 29 and the evidence led them to Perez, whom they arrested on Jan. 17.
Police said Perez and the woman, both Cuban nationals, had dated for 18 months but had broken up two months before the killing. Neighbors said they had seen the two argue outside the apartment after the break-up and heard Perez threaten to slit her throat "like a slaughtered pig's" after he found out Portales had moved in with her.
Nevertheless, Portales and the woman allowed Perez to move in with them just days before the killing after Perez fell on hard times, and neighbors said Portales was instrumental in convincing the woman they should help him out.
Police said he forced the woman to perform oral sex on him the morning of Nov. 11, the same day Portales was last seen.
At the time of Perez's arrest, police had recovered all of Portales' body parts except for his skull and left hand.
Second-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence upon conviction. The obstruction of justice charge stems from Perez's alleged dismembering and disposing of the body.
Perez is being held in the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center in lieu of $1 million bail.
The case was allotted to Judge Ellen Shirer Kovach of 24th Judicial District Court in Gretna.