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'He would've done it again': Murder suspect's dad testifies against son

State and defense rests their cases, closing arguments start Wednesday
Posted at 5:52 PM, Jun 11, 2024

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — After two days of testimony from more than 20 witnesses, both the State and defense have rested their cases in the Wade Wilson trial.

Wilson is accused of killing Kristine Melton and Diane Ruiz in October 2019.

Much of the second day consisted of testimony from law enforcement and a medical examiner.

However, Wilson's dad took the stand against his son.

"He just told me he did something. There was two people gone that would not be back," said Steven Testasecca, Wilson's father.

"He said I'm a killer."

Those words, he claims, are what Wilson told him after the killings over a phone call.

Testasecca said he put Wilson up for adoption when his dad was a teenager, and had sporadic contact with him when Wilson became an adult.

Much of the contact was over the phone - like the day of the alleged murders.

Testasecca said Wilson called him three times.

"The first time he said he needed help. He had done something that he couldn’t take back," Testasecca said.

When Wilson was told to call back, he did and that is when he allegedly said two people were gone.

The third time was a gruesome discussion.

Testasecca said Wilson said he met a girl at the bar and went back to her place.

"He said he got on top of her and choked her," Testasecca said. "He said he stayed in the house for a little while and he rolled her up and was going to try to put her in her trunk, but he couldn’t lift her."

That's when Wilson allegedly told his dad he left her and took her car.

Then Wilson is said to have started to talk about Ruiz, telling his dad Wilson saw her walking down the street, stopped, asked for directions and she got into the car with him.

Testasecca said Wilson admitted to choking Ruiz while he was driving.

"He said that he pulled her out of the car and realized that she was still breathing," he said.

"He said he got back into the car and ran her over until she looked like spaghetti."

Police say Wilson later broke into a home to hide out where he drank, ate food and rustled through the homeowner's items.

When Wilson asked his dad for help, Testasecca said he offered to order an Uber for his son and needed an address. However, he said he was going to give the address to law enforcement instead.

"I initially wanted to help him," his dad said.

Assistant State Attorney Sara Miller asked him, "Did you have any additional concerns of what might happen if you didn’t turn him into law enforcement?"

When Testasecca said yes, he was asked what the concern was.

"He would’ve done it again," he replied.

When police arrived to the home, Testasecca said he told his son to come out peacefully.

I didn’t want him to end up doing anything stupid and get himself killed," he said.

At that time, police hadn't located Ruiz until three days after she went missing.

"We saw a single vulture circling a wooded area to our east," said Cape Coral Police Officer Justin DeRosso.

Autopsies determined they both were strangled and the medical examiner said Ruiz had other internal injuries such as rib fractures, bruising and more.

"Could Diane Ruiz have survived these? Given the injuries to her neck," the State asked.

"I would say no," medical examiner Dr. Thomas Coyne replied.

However, the defense questioned some parts of the autopsy.

"You can't tell me with any degree of scientific certainty that she was conscious at the time that she sustained any of these other injuries," defense attorney Kevin Shirley asked.

"I could not, no," said Coyne.

The final piece of evidence from the State was Wilson's interview with police.

It was played inside the courtroom.

The State rested its case, followed by the defense after Wilson chose to not testify.

Closing arguments will start on Wednesday morning, and the jury will then determine if Wilson is guilty or not guilty.