Suspect charged in July '22 death of Duncan woman

March 16, 2023

A first-degree murder charge has been filed against an El Paso, Texas man in the death of his estranged wife last year.

According to court documents, Mario Moto, with deliberate intent, caused the death of Laura Michelle Mota in July 2022.

In April 2022, the couple had an argument that led to Mario Moto leaving their Duncan residence and traveling towards El Paso, Texas.

Over the next few days the victim, who was a soldier at Fort Sill, and Mota exchange numerous text messages where Mota allegedly threatened suicide and blamed the victim for his mental state. Mota also allegedly believed the victim was having an affair and stated several times that he and the victim would be together until death.

He returned to the Duncan residence, where he stayed in contact with the victim throughout the day with numerous texts and calls over the next few months until on July 25 when U.S. Army personnel, who had been sent to the Mota residence when she did not show up for work, discovered the body.

Mota said the victim smelled of alcohol and may have fallen down the stairs at the residence. Investigators concluded, however, the victim’s injuries were consistent with strangulation and not a fall nor was there any alcohol found in her blood system.

The victim had told Duncan Police officers at an earlier incident involving the couple that Mota’s temper one day was going to get her killed.