Raul Ponce-Rocha is taking the stand in his own defense.
He is the first witness for the defense Tuesday morning.
The 23-year-old is on trial for murder in the death of Breanna Schneller of Wausau. She was found beaten to death in her apartment in May, 2009.
When asked if he knew Breanna Schneller, he says "no".
Ponce-Rocha says he left El Tequila Salsa at about 10:20 a.m. May 2nd. He left to pick-up a co-worker, but wanted to pick up some CD’s from home first. He found the CD’s in his mom’s car so he decided to not go home and turned around at Tobacco Outlet before he picked up Luciano.
While driving to the apartment complex, he sees his friend Sergio. He stops and talks to Sergio in the parking lot. After talking with Sergio he explains they then went to the apartment where Luciano and Breanna, Hugo and Sebastian all live. Ponce-Rocha says Breanna sees them, they go into the apartment and she talks to Sergio for awhile, while he waits in the living room.
When they were about to walk out of the apartment, Breanna grabbed Ponce-Rocha’s arm. He says Breanna grabbed him by the arm and pulled him back to talk about something. Ponce-Rocha says he told her it wasn’t his business and they left.
Ponce-Rocha says she was alive when they left.
He picks up Luciano and they return to work at about 11:00 a.m.
A few hours later he got call from Hugo saying he and Sebastian would not be coming back to work because somebody killed Breanna.
Ponce-Rocha is asked by the defense about the police interview. He says he didn't originally tell police about his encounter with Breanna and Sergio because Sergio was the last person he saw Breanna with and he didn't know if Sergio did it, but he was scared for his family and that's why he didn't tell the police about Sergio.
The state called 20-witnesses to the stand to build it's case. It finished with an expert who testified Ponce Rocha's DNA was found under the victim's fingernails.
If convicted, he faces a life prison sentence.
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