Jurors heard the first round of opening arguments in Oneida County Court this afternoon related to one of the suspects in the brutal death of a Pleasant Street woman last December.

Jurors heard the first round of opening arguments in Oneida County Court this afternoon related to one of the suspects in the brutal death of a Pleasant Street woman last December.

Prosecution and defense attorneys presented opening statements that related to only Luis Danny Hernandez, while a second set of jurors will hear similar openings Wednesday morning that relate to Tommy Ezquerdo.

Both Hernandez and Ezquerdo are standing trial together this week on charges of second-degree murder, robbery and conspiracy to rob and kill 34-year-old Maria De Jesus Magana inside her 141 Pleasant St. home Dec. 19, 2006.

Following opening arguments Wednesday, prosecutors will begin to call their first witnesses while both Ezquerdo and Herdnandez sit side-by-side.

Jurors were already selected Monday for Ezquerdo, but Judge Michael L. Dwyer dismissed those jurors until Wednesday due to Monday's snowy weather.

Hernandez claims he was helping his sister move the morning Magaña was killed, but Ezquerdo has told police that Hernandez strangled Magaña before stabbing her in the neck. Ezquerdo also told police that he himself wrapped duct tape around her hands during the robbery.

A third suspect – Yeshua Camacho Figueroa – was found guilty in October as an accomplice to murder, robbery and conspiracy to rob Magaña, but jurors did not convict him of actually killing her. He is due to be sentenced Dec. 20.

This is the third time in Oneida County’s judicial history that a dual-jury trial has taken place.

Observer-Dispatch