Opening statements in Willie Moore murder trial

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Opening statements and testimony are heard on the first day of a murder trial here in Chatham County.

The defendant is accused of beating and strangling his then-fiancée to death nearly two years ago.

Willie Moore, Jr. is charged with felony and malice murder in the February 2015 death of Mandi Kaiser.

From opening statements to Mandi Kaiser's mother taking the stand, jurors heard a lot about Kaiser and Moore's relationship and the events leading up to Kaiser's death.

Setting the tone for the trial, the prosecution and defense made their opening statements to the jury.

"This was a severe beating, there were significant injuries to this victim. On her arms, on her legs, on her hands, and on her body. Internally and externally. She was beaten, and beaten hard," said Assistant District Attorney Frank Pennington.

"Give Mr. Moore his presumption of innocence. Give him his week in court," Moore's attorney Bob Attridge told jurors.

Mandi Kaiser was found dead in her Apache Avenue apartment that she shared with Moore by family members, one of whom was her mother.

Pennington asked Kaiser's mother, Karen Collins, about the discovery of her daughter's body.

"My daughter laying on the floor. She was dead," said Collins as she wiped tears from her eyes.

Testimony from Kaiser's mother, children and others close to the couple indicated their relationship was a tumultuous one leading up to Kaiser's death.

Attridge asked Collins about a phone conversation she had with her daughter before her death. "She says to you, I'm glad I'm going to your house, Will's crazy."

Collins said yes. Attridge followed with, "Not that he's acting crazy, but her exact words were Will's crazy."

Kaiser's daughter, Briana Hartwell offered testimony describing a conversation with Kaiser. "I asked her if he had put his hands on her. She looked at him, she looked at me, she didn't respond. And then I asked again, and asked her, to be honest with me. And then she looked at him and looked at me, and yes... she said yes."

Wednesday, fingerprint analysis and toxicology reports are expected in testimony.

The trial is expected to last at least the rest of the week.

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