Mar 3, 2016 12:20 PM by News Staff
Opening statements were presented to the jury Wednesday in the murder trial of Zir Weems, the Chico man charged with strangling his wife to death in September 2014.
Attorneys for prosecution and defense attorney gave the jury an overview of what they think the evidence will show during the course of the trial.
The judge banned video cameras in the courtroom therefore only still photos were allowed.
The judge went one step further, only allowing media to photograph the attorneies and the judge, no photos were allowed to be taken of the defendant or jury.
Deputy District Attorney Stacy Edwards was up first explaining to the jury of nine women and three men.
That they will be considering circumstantial evidence in this case there were no eyewitnesses.
She told the jury how the victim 23-year-old Angelica Weems had told friends she was in an abusive relationship and feared for her life.
It was back on October 5th of 2014, Angelica’s body was discovered on a sand bar east of the Sacramento River, near Ord Bend.
She was first reported missing two weeks earlier.
Five months before her disappearance she filed a restraining order against her husband Zir Weems for abuse. She later requested the order be lifted.
Defense attorney Eric Ortner let the jury know it was their job to determine if the evidence presented in the case has any relevance to the death of the victim.
Prior to the trial the court ruled twice that Weems was mentally competent to stand trial.
Ortner told the jury, although it couldn't be used as excuse his client’s mental health will come into play during the trial.
The trial is expected to take several weeks to complete.
If convicted of first degree murder Weems faces 25 years to life in prison.