Opening statements start in trial for security guard accused in rape, strangling of Orlando woman

by: Field Sutton, WFTV Web Staff Updated:

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Opening statements began Tuesday afternoon in the murder trial of a former security guard accused of killing a 27-year-old woman in her downtown Orlando apartment.

Stephen Duxbury is accused of raping and killing Sasha Samsudean inside her apartment at Uptown Place in October 2015.

Read: Jury selection underway for security guard accused of killing Orlando woman

Surveillance video inside the apartment complex shows Samsudean was intoxicated when Duxbury was walking with her at the apartment complex, investigators said.

A 12-person jury was selected around 12:30 p.m.

Prosecutors will rely heavily on Orlando police testimony about the circumstances under which Samsudean's body was found wrapped in a blanket on her bed and the investigation that ensued.

Read: Evidence photos that led to suspect in Orlando woman's murder case released

The jury in this case is likely to hear excerpts of a lie detector test during which prosecutors say Duxbury made potentially incriminating statements.

Jurors will see key circumstantial evidence like his shoes, which allegedly matched footprints found in Samsudean's apartment, as well as fingerprints he left in her bathroom and on the victim, investigators said.

"The chances of another random member of our species having that DNA is 1 in 860 trillion," prosecutor William Jay said.

Read: Security guard accused of killing woman in downtown Orlando apartment to stand trial

The one thing they will not see is any eyewitness testimony or video placing Duxbury at the scene of the crime. There is, however, video of Duxbury and Samsudean walking in the hallway at the apartments.

"Ms. Samsudean's windpipe gets crushed. She gets hit at least seven times in her head and she has all the other injuries all over her that we previously described to you. Her bra, the purple shirt that she was wearing in support of the Orlando City Lions, are torn apart," Jay said.

The defense argued that police missed the real killer in a rush to judgment.

"If you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail. These officer immediately seized Mr. Duxbury as a suspect," defense attorney Aaron Delgado said.

Duxbury faces life in prison if convicted in Samsudean’s death.

Follow Channel 9's Field Sutton on Twitter for latest details on what's happening inside the courtroom.


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