Man accused of murdering girlfriend being tried for third time

Jermaine Richards during a previous court appearance. (WFSB file)

A Connecticut man accused of murdering his girlfriend is now being tried for a third time.

Prosecutors says Jermaine Richards killed Alyssiah Wiley back in 2013 when she was a student at Eastern Connecticut State University.

His first two trials ended in hung juries.

On Wednesday, his third trial began.

This trial, like the first two, is based on circumstantial evidence.

There is no murder weapon and no witnesses to the crime.

From the beginning, Richards has denied killing Wiley.

"To prove this charge, the state must show beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Richards intended to cause the death of another person, Ms. Wiley,” said Hon. Earl Richards, the Superior Court judge.

Police say Richards, killed and dismembered the body of 20-year-old Wiley back in April of 2013.

Referencing surveillance footage, the campus police chief, said Wiley was last seen getting into Richards’ car outside her ECSU dorm room.

Her remains were later found in the woods in Trumbull, not too far from his Bridgeport home.

While Wiley's mother Corrina Martin has been there every step of the way, she wasn't in the courtroom Wednesday morning because she'll be called to testify at some point.

Dealing not only with this murder case, but another.

Last month, another daughter and a granddaughter were murdered in Waterbury.

Wednesday in court, prosecutors called Wiley's friends from Eastern to the stand, trying to show what type of relationship she had with Richards.

"They spoke a lot. A lot of times, she'd take his call, go in the hallway. She'd just leave, be on the phone with him,” said Tierra Downie.

Wiley, who was from West Haven, was a sophomore at Eastern. Police say she was trying to break up with Richards before her death and that he became upset.

But during cross examination, Richards’ attorney tried turning the tables.

Jurors heard testimony from nine witnesses on Wednesday.

The judge told them both sides expect the evidentiary phase of the trial will last anywhere between 10 to 12 days, followed by closing arguments and deliberations.

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