At third trial, college student murder suspect has no interest i - WFSB 3 Connecticut

At third trial, college student murder suspect has no interest in taking the stand

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Jermaine Richard (WFSB) Jermaine Richard (WFSB)
BRIDGEPORT, CT (WFSB) -

A man being tried for a third time for the murder of a college student said he has no interest in taking the stand.

Jermaine Richards is accused of killing his girlfriend, Alyssiah Wiley, back in 2013.

The defense said it needed just half of the morning before resting its case.

It called just one witness, Richards' mother.

After that, Richards was heard from for the first time. That's when he told the judge that he would not be testifying.

"My understanding is that you do not wish to testify in this case," the judge said. "Is that correct sir?"

Richards acknowledged that.

"You understand you have a right to testify or not to testify, that is your decision?" the judge asked again.

"Yes sir," Richards again replied.

Richards also said he discussed the decision with his attorney.

With that, his fate will soon be in the hands of a jury for the third time.

According to prosecutors, Wiley, an Eastern Connecticut State University student, was last seen getting into the now 30-year-old nurse's car in 2013. She was leaving the ECSU campus in Willimantic at the time.

Roughly a month later, her remains were discovered in a wooded area of Trumbull, a mile and a half from Richards' home.

Prosecutors said Richards killed and dismembered Wiley because she broke up with him.

However, Richards continues to deny any involvement.

Police said they never found a weapon or even know for sure how Wiley was killed.

For its lone witness, the defense called Leonia McQueen, Richards' mother.

Much of her testimony focused on the basement of the house she shared with her son and her mother.

The testified that she would often remove items like money and jewelry from her mother's clothes and put those items in a garbage bag next to the washing machine.

The defense tried to poke holes in the state's theory that Wiley's necklace was found in a garbage bag in Richards' basement.

But during cross examination, prosecutors pulled out the evidence.

"I'm going to show you state's exhibit 126," prosecutors said. "You're not saying this is your mother's are you?"

"I'm not sure, she got a bunch of jewelry," McQueen said.

"You don't recognize this at all?" prosecutors pressed.

"I'm not sure," McQueen answered.

Closing arguments are set for Thursday.

The jury will then get its instructions from the judge and then start to deliberate.

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