Saturday, November 12, 2011

Breanna Schneller

WAUSAU (WAOW)--It's a case that's been dominating headlines across our area...the trial of Raul Ponce-Rocha who is accused of murdering 18-year-old Breanna Schneller. Here's a recap of what has happened in the trial so far.

The judge and jury have heard from 15 witnesses in three days of testimony.

 Prosecutors are focusing in on key pieces of evidence and information to try and convict Raul Ponce-Rocha of murdering Breanna Schneller.

 On day one, the trial took an emotional turn when testimony was heard from Hugo Ramirez, the brother of Schneller's former fiance Sebastian Ramirez. He shared an apartment with the two and was the one who discovered Schneller's body at the apartment in May of 2009.

During his testimony, Ramirez said he found Schneller in the apartment and  "was yelling out her name and banging on the door...trying to get a response from her and hoping she was still alive."
 A state crime lab agent also weighed in on the case Wednesday, giving jurors some insight into the severity of Schneller's fatal wounds.

 Day two saw more grueling testimony, including the forensic pathologist who performed Schneller's autopsy. He told the court the stab wounds on her body were innumerable. He also described how the cuts to Schneller's chest were curved and scalloped, leading him to believe they were inflicted by a broken knife.

"If we look at the wounds to the chest you will see that the edges are very irregular, they're not linear, they're scalloped and do not follow a straight line," said Dr. Robert Corliss.

 Schneller's mother had to leave the court room after hearing descriptions of her daughter's attack.
Jurors also heard from Ponce-Rocha himself when prosecutors played an interview conducted just four days after Schneller was found dead.

 On Friday, detectives detailed evidence that could directly link Ponce-Rocha to Breanna Schneller and the crime scene. Hairs found on a brown sweatshirt Ponce-Rocha was seen wearing the day of Schneller's death have been sent to the crime lab for DNA testing.

Surveillance video from El Tequila Salsa where Ponce-Rocha worked was also used to build the case against him.

Detective Cord Buckner stated in his testimony that there were inconsistencies in the time Ponce-Rocha told detectives he was away from working picking up a co-worker.

 When the trial resumes Monday, DNA experts are slated to take the stand.

Documentation:She was brutally killed by Raul Ponce Rocha.


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