Accused Man Acts as His Own Attorney in Miami's Newlywed Murder Trial

Michel Escoto is defending himself against charges that he killed his wife days after the wedding.
3:00 | 03/27/14

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Transcript for Accused Man Acts as His Own Attorney in Miami's Newlywed Murder Trial
And now we move on to a sensational murder trial in Miami. A man charged with killing his wife just days after the wedding to collect on her insurance policy. He's acting as his own attorney. And he got to grill his former girlfriend who says they planned the murder together. ABC's Mara schiavocampo here with this really bizarre story. Reporter: It is. Not just his former girlfriend he got to cross-examine but his former mother-in-la he rushed the wedding and then killed his bride because he needed money, prosecutors say. In a bizarre courtroom drama, 42-year-old Michele Escoto accused of killing his wife is representing himself acting as his own attorney in the trial. Even though we -- Object. Reporter: Prosecutors say he beat and strangled his new bride, 21-year-old Wendy tpipagla, days after their wedding allegedly killing her so he could collect her nearly $1 million life insurance policy. Prosecutors allege he even practiced different options for killing her with this woman, his ex-girlfriend. Among the options drowning her in the bathtub. We filled up my tub and I got in the water. You let him push you under water? Yes. Reporter: His self-reputation has become a courtroom spectacle. As he stumbled through the proceedings. If anyone knew the case it was him and he knew exactly how he wanted to defend it. Reporter: Monday the alleged murderer came face to face with his former mother-in-law. Do you think that I could kill Wendy? Translator: I never thought you would be capable of something like that. You were her husband. Reporter: A husband who prosecutors say committed the ultimate betrayal. Now, this case is expected to last several more weeks. Escoto pleaded not guilty. If convicted he could face life in prison. Never a good idea to defend yourself especially if you don't have experience. It's not helping him. By most accounts he's not helping himself by representing himself and fumbling through courtroom proceedings and irritating the prosecution and legal experts say if he's convicted the fact that he represented himself will cause a nightmare on appeals. Once again, the police arrested him only after he filed a civil suit trying to get the money. He was arrested three years after the murder was committed because initially they didn't have him as a suspect but because he followed up trying to get the insurance money his story was inconsistent and those claims and that's what led him to -- led them to eventually identify hip as a potential suspect. You're challenging Dan Abrams over there. I'm telling you. All right, Mara. Thanks so much. Thank you. Another check of the weather

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