A Cirque du Soleil performer in Las Vegas has pled not guilty to murdering his ex-girlfriend, chopping up her body and dumping it in tubs of cement.

Defense lawyers for Jason Omar Griffith are claiming that he acted out of self-defense when he killed Deborah Flores Narvaez. The Las Vegas dancer and former Washington Red Skins cheerleader disappeared in December 2010.  

Narvaez’s roommate testified that that she had planned on going to Griffith’s home to watch the TV show “Dexter,” but she never returned.

Police say that according to Griffith’s former roommate, the performer choked his ex-girlfriend and suffocated her with a plastic bag. The roommate also claimed that he helped Griffith get rid of Narvaez’s body.

Cops found the dismembered body in two tubs of cement at a vacant home in downtown Las Vegas.

During opening statements on Thursday, prosecutors showed gruesome pictures of the body parts. They allege that Griffith was trying to juggle his relationships with his ex-girlfriend and another dancer before he finally snapped.

But the defense claims Narvaez stalked and threatened him, and that’s why he was afraid of her.

Today on Shepard Smith Reporting, criminal defense attorney Diana Aizman weighed in on this case.

She said that the defense will have to prove that Griffith’s actions were necessary and reasonable, which will be difficult to prove when you have a defendant who dismembered his “aggressor.”