Raul Ponce Rocha
There's another piece of evidence being used in the trial of the 23-year-old Wausau man charged with the murder of a D.C. Everest Senior, Breanna Schneller.
A judge ruled Thursday that an interview Raul Ponce Rocha had with Wausau Police on the day he was taken into custody can be used.
The prosecution says that Ponce-Rocha made statements during that interview voluntarily until he was taken into custody.
That's why they felt those statements should be used in the trial.
But Ponce-Rocha's attorneys felt that his statements weren't voluntary because the interview was set up through his employer and therefore shouldn't be used.
Last week, prosecutors thought they may have found a motive behind the murder of D.C. Everest senior, Breanna Schneller.
Schneller was just 18-years-old the day she died.
Prosecutors believe 23-year-old Raul Ponce-Rocha may have wanted to add to a women's underwear collection when he brutally murdered Breanna Schneller at her Wausau apartment.
"The underwear has some sort of value in his life, that's why he steals them that's why he uses them, they are at least part of the reason he intended to go into her house that day, they are why he intended to keep them as he left the apartment," says District Attorney Ken Heimerman.
He says four pairs of women's underwear were found underneath 23-year-old Raul Ponce-Rocha's mattress.
One of them he stole from a roommate.
But then in May of 2009, on the day of Breanna Schneller's murder, he says, Ponce-Rocha took two pairs of her underwear.
"They weren't just grabbed by happenstance, he wasn't swooping up a cell phone from her and said oops I got two pair of underwear along with it," says the District Attorney.
But the defense says these two incidents aren't related, and they should not be considered as evidence in the case.
"They are two years apart, two different acts, they are two different places, they are unrelated, they are distinct," says Suzanne O'Neil, one of Raul Ponce-Rocha's attorneys, "In Ms. Schneller's underwear there is no allegation that it was at all a sex crime, there is no allegation that there is DNA on the underwear, there is no allegation that the defendant was coveting this underwear for a sexual act."
However, on November 12, the judge did rule the underwear should be used as evidence in the case. A judge also ruled that a jury from La Crosse County will be brought in to hear Ponce-Rocha's trial. The judge also ruled that Ponce-Rocha does not need an interpreter because he understands English.
Click the links below to read previous stories relating to this case
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