Jury deliberations underway in Troy murder trial
November 17, 2017 11:55 AM
TROY - The jury is now deliberating the fate of accused killer, Johnny Oquendo. He's accused of murdering his stepdaughter, Noel Alkaramla, then stuffing her body in a suitcase and tossing it in the Hudson River.
The jury deliberated for about 20 minutes on Thursday. Deliberations will resume on Friday morning.
Now, it's just a waiting game to see whether they will clear or convict Oquendo of the murder of Alkaramla.
After a final witness on Thursday morning, the defense rested. Both sides delivered their closing arguments.
"They have failed to establish beyond a reasonable doubt, because they didn't establish any motive," argued Defense Attorney William Roberts.
The defense case was largely based on discrediting witnesses. Roberts says there was no forensic evidence found inside the Troy apartment where Oquendo allegedly killed Alkaramla.
The prosecution's most important witness was the main target of his closing argument. Oquendo's ex-girlfriend, Amanda Whitman, is the only person who tied Oquendo to the suitcase. The defense reminded jurors of the allegations that she had sexual contact with animals and that they wouldn't trust her with their own children.
Prosecutor Andrew Botts told jurors it wasn't easy for Whitman to take the stand under the circumstances, but she was telling the truth.
"She answered them forthright and with candor, to the point where it embarrassed her to a fault," countered Botts.
Botts also went over the entire case, mentioning every witness, their testimony, the people who allegedly heard Oquendo dragging the suitcase in the Troy apartment building and the video of what he said was Oquendo with the suitcase. All of it, he says, pointed to one man who committed this murder.
"While it is a circumstantial case, that evidence leads in only one direction. That arrow points only one way," argued Botts.
Oquendo faces strangulation, murder in the second degree and concealment of a human corpse. If convicted, he could face 25 years to life in prison.
NewsChannel 13 continues to follow this story. We will bring you a verdict on WNYT.com, Facebook and Twitter as soon as it's reached. We'll also have updates in our future newscasts.
Updated: November 17, 2017 11:55 AM
Created: November 16, 2017 01:20 PM
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