NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Day two of the murder trial against Nicholas Brooks was under way Monday in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Brooks is charged with strangling and drowning his fashion designer girlfriend Sylvie Cachay in Dec. 2010. Her body was found in a bathtub at the trendy Soho House in the Meatpacking District.
As WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported, the first police officer on the scene of the murder testified that Cachay’s body had been removed from the overflowing bathtub by the time he arrived.
The officer testified that he called it in as a suspicious death.
“I thought it was very odd that a person would have gotten into the bathtub dressed in a sweater and underwear,” he told the jury.
Three earlier witnesses, including her brother and her father, seemed to back up the officer’s testimony, Cornell reported.
“She was quite quirky, adamant about never taking a bath. She didn’t think it was clean,” her brother told the jury.
Earlier Monday, Lisa McHale, a public relations woman who represented Sylvie Cachay’s successful swimsuit line, testified that they became instant friends.
McHale told the jury that Cachay, 33, freely discussed her relationship with Brooks, referring to him as “the kid she was dating.”
McHale testified that Cachay told her that they were incompatible in every way that counted. Cachay described herself as ambitious, motivated, driven and determined to revive her swimsuit line after the financial crisis.
According to McHale’s testimony, Cachay described Brooks as unemployed, uninterested in working, unable to hold a job, a night owl and a drug user.
In their last conversation, McHale testified, Cachay told her she had finally broken off the destructive relationship. Cachay’s body was found partially clothed and submerged in a bathtub at Soho House Hotel two days later.
Prosecutors have described Brooks as an unemployed opportunist who used the Peruvian woman to fund his lavish lifestyle and marijuana habit.
Before her death, Cachay apparently threatened to cut off Nicholas if he didn’t clean up his act. Prosecutors claim the ultimatum drove him to kill. Brooks’ attorney disagrees.
Defense attorney Jeffrey Hoffman admitted that the couple did have a rocky relationship, but claims that Cachay may have been heavily medicated and slipped in the tub. He also added that Brooks’ DNA was never found near the bathtub faucets.
“It’s terrible. I don’t have words to say the tragedy we have had,” Sylvia Cachay, the woman’s mother, told CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell on Friday. “I cannot even say how cruel this moment has been in my life.”
Cachay’s father and brother both took the stand on Friday and testified about identifying her badly bruised body.
The trial is anticipated to last through the beginning of next month. The Cachays said they plan to be present for every day of the proceedings.
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