Trial began Tuesday for the Waterloo man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend, the same day she would have turned 54.
Emerson John Tohafjian is accused of shooting and killing his ex-girlfriend Lori McConnell and Chuck Andrus in July. He's charged with second-degree murder, assault, burglary, witness tampering, criminal use of a firearm, reckless endangerment and criminal contempt.
In opening statements, Tohafjian’s lawyer Frank Ciardi argued there is no DNA that links his client to the scene.
"He didn’t have a chance because he was presumed guilty at the 911 call," Ciardi said. "New York State Police started their investigation to look only for him and it went from a murder investigation to a witch hunt."
Prosecutors took the day to lay out a timeline of the events, something the defense argued was not credible due to witnesses being intoxicated.
One of those witnesses set to testify is Karen Zdunko, the third victim who survived being shot.
"He shot Karen, shot her on the left side. The bullet went through the arm and another bullet through her rib cage here on the left side," said Seneca County District Attorney Barry Porsch. "The defendent took the rifle and shot him [Andrus] right here in the chest. One bullet, killed him. And Laurie McConnell was sitting on the couch and that’s when he [Tohafjian] unloaded the rest of his ammo on her."
Prosecutors expect to enter Zdunko's desparate call to 911 into evidence, as well as more than a hundred other items. According to Porsch, in the 911 call, Zdunko identifies Tohafjian as the shooter.