Prosecutors described the brutal stabbing of high school freshman Kelli O'Laughlin during opening statements at a long-awaited murder trial today.
On the witness stand, Kelli’s mother Brenda McLauglin was forced to relive that chilling moment when, less than 24 hours after finding her daughter in a pool of blood inside their Indian Head Park home, the grieving mother received a frightening text from her daughter’s stolen phone.
"She wanted me to tell you something before I killed her," the text read.
The author of the cruel message? Prosecutors point to defendant, John Wilson Jr.
In a booming voice during opening arguments, prosecutor Peter Lisuzzo, described the brutal 2011 stabbing that fatally pierced 14-year-old Kelli's aorta.
"Her house became her tomb,” Lisuzzo nearly shouted out, walking towards the defense table. "Ladies and gentlemen there is a killer in the courtroom with us today and his name is John Wilson Jr."
Prosecutors say Wilson stabbed his teen victim to death after she came home to a burglary in progress.
But in opening arguments defense attorney John Paul Carroll faults police for failing to adequately investigate landscapers who visited the O'Laughlin home the same day of the murder.
"They cannot show and there will never be any evidence that Wilson was ever in Indian Head Park," Carroll said.
The defense says no one can prove Wilson was in Indian Head Park, and was a handyman looking for work.