NEW RICHMOND, Wis. (WCCO) — A double murder trial is underway in Hudson, Wis. A former boyfriend is accused of killing a 30-year-old mother and her 10-year-old daughter.
Prosecutors also charged Cristian Daniel Nunez with stealing the victim’s car and credit card and driving to El Paso, Texas.
It took just three hours to select a jury of nine women and five men. In opening statements, prosecutors said this was a crime of passion, committed by a man who was driven by jealousy.
Nunez rocked nervously as his double homicide trial got underway on Monday. Wearing headphones to hear a translator, he’s accused of the brutal stabbings of Courtney Bradford, and her 10-year-old daughter Jasmine.
Prosecutors say Nunez then stole Bradford’s car and bank card and fled to Iowa – where he booked a flight to Texas. But before he left, he doused the home with gasoline to destroy the evidence.
In the defense’s opening, Attorney Brian Smestad told jurors no evidence links Nunez to the crime scene. No blood, fingerprints or DNA.
“When you hear all evidence, more so the lack of it, you will conclude not guilty,” Smestad told jurors.
The state’s first witness: A New Richmond, Wis., firefighter who choked with emotion recalling what he found in the badly burned basement.
“I determined it was a child,” the firefighter said.
There are more than 55 witnesses who could be called to testify, including investigators in El Paso, where Nunez was arrested the following day.
Judge Needham told jurors to expect the trial to last seven days, pushing it well into Christmas week.