A father put on trial for killing his children’s mother. The prosecution lays out grizzly details and offers its stance on why they think Timothy Handel killed his girlfriend, while the defense paints a totally different picture. YNN's Elaina Athans has more.
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ORANGE COUNTY, N.Y. -- "He cuts off her left leg, mid thigh," said Chief Trial Assistant District Attorney John Geidel.
A killing caused by a quest to gain control. That's what the prosecution says lead this man to murder the mother of his children. Opening statements in Timothy Handel's murder trial. Handel is accused of killing his girlfriend after learning she meet another man.
"This defendant decided if he couldn’t have Kate Connolly then nobody would. When he realizes that she plans she is leaving him for someone else, he ends her life by strangling her," said Geidel.
Kathleen Connolly was last seen in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She moved for a new job.
Connolly was reported missing in July of 2011. A month later, she was found buried in the backyard of a New Windsor home where Handel was renting an apartment. The prosecution says Handel strangled Connolly, and then dismembered her body.
"They were having money difficulties," said Handel's defense attorney Paul Trachte.
The defense argues Handel did not kill Connolly, instead, she committed suicide and that Handel, after making the discovery, panicked. The defense adds the two were involved in a custody fight.
Trachte said, "She was extremely upset, extremely distraught. There was some violence struggle with the children in the household. He did want he could to hide the struggle."
During the opening statements, Handel started crying and court officers had to bring him over tissues. He's charged with murder, manslaughter and tampering with evidence. Handel faces 25 years to life in this case.