The trial begins for a Utica man accused of killing Jennifer Bennett back in 2007. 30-year-old Craig Ingersoll is charged with 2nd degree murder and criminal sexual act in the 1st degree.
After five years of investigation and finding the suspect through DNA evidence, the prosecution must now convince the jury that Ingersoll is responsible for Jennifer Bennett's death.
Back in January of 2007, Bennett's body was found by people who were sledding down a hill behind the Deerfield Fire House.
According to police, DNA evidence played a key role in making this homicide case.
"I want to ask you ladies and gentleman to listen carefully to the investigator's testimony regarding a hair that was collected on the victim's back," said Prosecutor Laurie Lisi.
A piece of hair that prosecutors say is the most damaging piece of evidence in this trial. After a thousand investigative leads, officials finally connected Ingersoll to Bennett's death.
Officials say the hair found on Jennifer's body matched DNA from cigarette butts belonging to Ingersoll.
Today, both the Prosecution and Defense delivered opening statements to the jury, telling them what they should expect over the next couple of days.
The jury will hear from numerous witnesses, from investigators to a doctor who examined the victim's body.
But, the defense wants the jury to hold their judgment until the very end.
"Everything you learned about Jennifer, her lifestyle and injuries and her death you will see the evidence presented will tell a different story than the investigators and the District Attorney will have you believe. It will actually show that Craig is not guilty of sexual abuse in the 1st degree therefore not guilty of murder in the 2nd degree," said Defense Attorney, Luke Nebush.
The trial will resume on Wednesday and is expected to wrap up early next week. Through the next few days, we expect to learn how Ingersoll knew Bennett.