First day of Ponce Rocha Trial - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

First day of Ponce Rocha Trial


By Heather Sawaski

MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) -- 14 Jurors began hearing the case against Raul Ponce-Rocha in the Marathon County Courthouse on Wednesday. He's the man accused of murdering 18-year-old Breanna Schneller in May of 2009.

After opening statements the prosecution began making its case, calling 5 witnesses to the stand.

First, Breanna's mother, who told the jury she had Breanna's car the day of the murder and the last time she spoke to her daughter they were making plans to get the car back to her.

It was when Hugo Ramirez, Breanna's fiancee's brother, and her roommate took the stand things got really emotional.

Ramirez explained to the jury how he was the one to find Breanna's body on May 2, 2009. He explained how he took a lunch break from work around 1 PM, went back to the apartment he shared with his brother Sebastian, and Sebastian's fiancee, Breanna.

He said he found Breanna laying on her bedroom floor -- bloody, with cuts on her face and chest.

"I was yelling out her name and banging the door," said Ramirez, "trying to get a response from her and hoping she was still alive."

Another emotional moment was when the prosecution played the 911 tape, called in by a neighbor because Hugo Ramirez was too distraught, he said, to dial the phone.

The jury heard from a state crime lab investigator who called the attack, "a very violent stabbing." He said the tip of one of the knives used to stab Breanna was broken during the attack and later recovered in her body during the autopsy.

The state plans to call five more witnesses tomorrow including Sebastian Ramirez.

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