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Man arrested for attempted homicide said he was anxious about coronavirus

Elmer Rey Cortes

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

Elmer Rey Cortes, 41, is accused of beating and choking his girlfriend “with the intent to end her life.”

According to an arrest report from Gainesville Police Department (GPD), Cortes became upset with his live-in girlfriend after she told him that she had spent the night with another man. She lost consciousness after he beat her and caused extensive injuries to her face.

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Around an hour after she lost consciousness, Cortes contacted a friend and told him what had happened. Emergency medical services were not called until after the friend arrived, approximately an hour and a half after the beating. The victim was then transported to the hospital and rushed into surgery.

Children belonging to both Cortes and the victim were at the residence, watching TV, when the incident occurred.

In a post-Miranda interview, Cortes admitted that he became upset with the victim after learning that she had cheated on him. He said he had been extremely worried about the coronavirus and the possibility that the victim could get exposed at her job. He said he had asked her to quit her job and self-quarantine, but she refused.

Cortes said he’d had only 5 hours of sleep in the past few days because of his extreme anxiety over the possibility of becoming infected with the virus. After he found messages in the victim’s cell phone to another man, he confronted her, and she admitted that she was having an affair. They argued and he “lost it” and began choking the victim and hitting her in the face. They also fell to the ground, and the victim’s head hit the ground.

The victim is in critical condition in a medically-induced coma. Cortes’ bail was set at $2 million.

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