Prosecution, defense wrap up closing arguments in the Johnny Oquendo murder trial

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The trial for Johnny Oquendo could soon come to a close.

Both the prosecution and defense wrapped up their arguments on Thursday.

Oquendo is accused of killing his stepdaughter Noel Alkaramla in November of 2015 then putting her body in a suitcase and throwing it in the Hudson River.

Both the defense and prosecution made their final cases to the jury before putting the decision in their hands.

Defense Attorney Bill Roberts went first continuing to show the jury where he says there are holes in the prosecution’s timeline of the night Noel Alkaramla went missing.

He says the prosecution’s star witness Amanda Whitman is not credible. Roberts says she testified to having hallucinations and even had sexual relations with a dog.

Roberts also said to the jury the suitcase Alkaramla was found in is not the same suitcase neighbors saw Johnny Oquendo with said the prosecution left out facts that didn’t fit their story.

Assistant District Attorney Andrew Botts was next. He showed surveillance footage of a man he says is Oquendo dragging a suitcase toward the Hudson River.

Botts zoomed in on the person in the video asking the jury to focus on the distinctive nose and chin. Botts saying the suitcase in question is the one Oquendo put Alkaramla in after killing her. He says he then threw her away like a piece of trash.

“This suitcase that Noel was found in is what the prosecution wants you to believe they saw,” Roberts said.

“This is that suitcase and Noel was inside of it. That’s what happened when something came falling down the stairs which Kyle and Anthony and Cassandra described as if someone had fallen down the stairs. Because somebody did,” Botts said.

Noel’s mother, who the defense subpoenaed as a witness by never called to the stand, was allowed in the courtroom for the first time on Thursday.

She saw the evidence and heard the arguments for the first time. She was visibly upset in the courtroom.

The jury received instructions from the judge on how they should deliberate each of the three charges Oquendo faces.

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