Opening statements begin in Oquendo murder trial

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The trial for a man accused of killing his stepdaughter in November of 2015 started on Tuesday in Rensselaer County Court.

Johnny Oquendo is accused of killing Noel Alkaramla putting her body in a suitcase and dumping it in the Hudson River.

NEWS10 ABC heard a lot from both the defense and the prosecution that we didn’t know before today, including what the prosecution believes the murder weapon was and how the defense claims Oquendo and Alkaramla were actually in a casual sexual relationship.

NEWS10 ABC’s camera was allowed inside the courtroom for these opening statements.

The prosecution going through a timeline of the last hours of Alkaramla’s life describing how they believe Oquendo killed her by using a twisted plastic shopping bag as a rope around her neck.

Also explaining how several neighbors will testify as witnesses who say they heard and saw Oquendo dragging a large suitcase out of the apartment on the night Alkaramla went missing.

Plus what the prosecution says is DNA evidence that ties Oquendo to her murder.

On the other side, the defense claiming the prosecution’s timeline is wrong, saying there are two witnesses who say they saw Alkaramla after the prosecution says Oquendo allegedly killed her.

The defense also says Alkaramla was part of the underbelly of the city, using and dealing drugs and even worked as a prostitute. They also had an explanation for Oquendo’s DNA found during her autopsy.

The prosecution will call witnesses on Wednesday as the trial continues.

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