Continuing our coverage now on the murder trial of a man accused of killing his step daughter.
Prosecutors say Johnny Oquendo killed 21 year old Noel Alklarama, stuffed her body in a suitcase and then threw it into the Hudson River.
Jurors have heard the opening statements from both the defense and the prosecution and now some of the first witnesses are starting to tell the jury what they know about her disappearance.
Prosecutors argue that Johnny Oquendo strangled Noel Alklarama with a twisted shopping bag around her neck, using it like a rope.
They say neighbors will also testify seeing him dragging a suitcase out of his Troy apartment the night she disappeared back in November of 2015.
But, the defense claims Oquendo and Alkaramla were in a casual sexual relationship and that the prosecution’s timeline is wrong.
Prosecution: “A suitcase has fallen down the stairs, smashed into their door. They look up, and see the defendant coming down the stairs after it.”
Defense: “You will hear from two witnesses who will tell you she was alive and well in the city of troy near the area of her home.”
Oquendo is facing charges of 2nd degree murder, strangulation, and concealment of a human corpse.