Witnesses take stand in double murder trial
MIAMI (WSVN) -- A teen who reportedly witnessed her parents' murders years ago took the stand in the trial of the man accused of killing them.
On Tuesday the teen, identified only as A.J., recounted the events of her parents' murders, which occurred in the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami in January of 2006. "I came outside, and I was looking for my mom," she said through tears. "I couldn't find them until I heard her on the floor screaming, saying, 'He shot me.'"
Shortly after the murders, A.J. made a tearful plea to the public for help in finding the person responsible for killing her parents, Adrian Johnson and Grace Armstrong. She said, "I'm sad, and I'm so angry that they shot my mom and dad."
Days later, Benito Santiago, a 17-year-old with an extensive record, was arrested and charged with murdering Johnson and Armstrong.
Santiago's distinctive face tattoos helped A.J. identify him as the shooter.
Witness Curtis Hanson also recounted the events during Santiago's trial, and testified that he saw Santiago shoot and kill the A.J.'s parents with an AK-47. "He shot a lady, he shot the lady first, and he shot the other guy," said Hanson.
Despite the two witnesses, however, Santiago's defense attorney Allen Greenstein said the prosecution is missing a key element, and thus the jury must find Santiago not guilty. "The state has absolutely no physical evidence connecting Mr. Santiago to this crime. The only thing they have are two eyewitnesses who claim they can identify Benito as the person who committed the crime," said Greenstein. "They will prove to be unreliable witnesses."
Santiago's trial resumes Wednesday.
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