MUSKEGON, MICH. - The trial for the man accused in the death of Muskegon mother Barbie Dailey nearly one year ago is underway.
During opening statements assistant Muskegon County Prosecutor Benjamin Medema told jurors that Joshua Salyers is the one who slashed the throat of Barbie Dailey on Sept. 4, 2016. Dailey was the mother of three young girls.
Medema also told jurors Salyers is the same person who called police and was found kneeling over Dailey as she bleed to death.
Salyers is charged with one count of open murder.
The prosecution intends on convincing jurors that the relationship between Dailey and Salyers was a turbulent one, resulting in him taking her life. The two had been fighting in the days prior to her death. Dailey posted a Facebook message telling her friends that "change is good."
Medema says Salyers also made a Facebook post to his friends.
"That said one cut, two cuts, three cuts, four," Medema said.
Key evidence is expected to be video from a security camera on a neighbors house that shows Salyers and Dailey entering her house. Salyers is the only one who exits the house.
"The only witness to what happened here is the defendant, he is the only one," said Fred Lesica, Salyers' defense attorney.
Lesica told jurors it's true, his client and Dailey were together in the final moments of her life. He asked jurors to listen to all of the testimony and study all the evidence before making any judgments about Salyers' innocence or guilt.
After his arrest Salyers told police Dailey was injured as he tried to prevent her from committing suicide with a knife.
Salyers also allegedly told police that he saw a black man running from Dailey's home. And apparently at another time some version of an admission to the crime.
In August, the prosecutor was granted permission by a Muskegon judge to use the alleged confession at trial.
The trial should last until Friday. One prosecution witnesses is a jail inmate who is expected to testify that Joshua Salyers bragged to him that he killed Barbie Daily.
Salyers' legal trouble won't conclude with this trial. He's also facing a trial for ripping a jail camera off the wall and smashing it into a toilet. That trial will follow the one currently underway.
Dailey's relatives say it's been difficult watching the slow-moving case. "Ya know he admitted to doing it, and now he is trying to say he was too emotional and that police shouldn't use that, the prosecutor is saying that police did nothing wrong, they just listened," said Brenda Cook, Barbra Dailey's aunt.
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