Testimony begins in trial of man accused of killing teen girl

LAS VEGAS - The capital murder trial of Javier Righetti is moving along quicker than expected.

He's charged in the brutal murder of 15-year-old Alyssa Otremba.

Police say, in 2011, the teenage girl was walking home in Centennial Hills when Righetti allegedly attacked her. Otremba was stabbed, raped and burned.

It took less than three hours for prosecutors to question five witnesses, in part, because the defense did not do any cross examination.

Among those who testified was Righetti's friend who he reportedly called for help following the murder. Daniel Ortiz took the stand Friday to testify against the man he once considered a close friend.

He told jurors he met Righetti at his home in Sept. 2011 after the defendant asked him to come over. Ortiz had been out on a date with his girlfriend.

When he got there, Ortiz testified, Righetti appeared 'mellow' when he told him he 'merked' a girl, which is slang for murder.

Ortiz says he didn't believe him at the time.

Righetti then asked his friend for a ride and money. The duo made several stops and at some point bought gas, matches, and drinks.

Ortiz says he also noticed Righetti was carrying a duffle bag but he still didn't know what exactly was happening.

Eventually, they went out to an undeveloped desert area where Righetti allegedly killed 15-year-old Alyssa Otremba.

Prosecutor: "Did he ask you once you got there to help him do anything with the body of the little girl in the desert?"

Daniel Ortiz: "Nah. He just asked me if I wanted to see it."

Prosecutor: "And what did you say?"

Daniel Ortiz: "I said nah."

Prosecutor: "So, what did you do?" 

Daniel Ortiz: "I jumped back in the car and I took off."

Prosecutor: "And left him there?

Daniel Ortiz: "Yeah."

Elizabeth Morales, who was dating Ortiz at the time, testified he dropped her off before he met with Righetti.

"The only thing Danny said was that he might have killed somebody and that I had to get dropped off."

Prosecutor: "That Danny might have killed somebody?"

Elizabeth Morales: "No, Javier."

Morales told jurors she saw a news report about the discovery of a burned body and suspected Righetti had something to do with it. She told her sister, who then called police.

Prosecutor: "Did you give them any information as far as what you heard about Javier?" 

Elizabeth Morales: "Yes. Just how two and two was put together."

There was a moment during testimony Friday that the victim's family stepped out of the courtroom. It was when pictures of Otrembra's burned body was shown to the jury. Righetti showed no reaction.


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