EPHRATA, Wash. – Opening statements in the Lucille Moore murder case began on Monday.
Chad Bennett is accused of killing Moore, 82, in September of 2014 and faces charges of first and second degree murder.
Investigators said Bennett entered Moore’s Ephrata home and stabbed her in the neck and chest. A coroner's report revealed that Moore was stabbed 17 times. When Moore was found, a pillow covered her face.
Documents state investigators found two items with DNA matching Bennett's on blood-soaked evidence found at the murder scene. Prosecutors argued that there were inconsistencies in Bennett's alibi when police interviewed him.
There is also DNA from two unknown men.
Bennett's lawyer argued that Bennett's DNA found at the scene could have been transferred to Moore indirectly, or could have been from a previous encounter.
Both parties agreed that Bennett was in Moore's house that day. However, the defense said Bennett was only in the house to pay Moore rent.
Defense: No clear motive in this case. Bennett's DNA at scene could have been transferred to the scene indirectly. pic.twitter.com/1hIyDobdRO— Taylor Viydo (@KREMTaylor) September 19, 2016
According to court documents, Bennett admitted to renting a home from Moore.
In 2014, Bennett told investigators that on the day of the murder, he went to Moore’s house to pay rent. He said Moore told him he still owed her for a security deposit.
Bennett claimed he went back to his home, got more money and then went back to Moore’s house to give it to her. He said he then left.
When asked about the murder, Bennett allegedly told investigators that Moore was “wrapped up with drug dealers” and that a family member had killed her.
Bennett’s criminal history includes harassment, theft and stolen property convictions.
The trial is expected to last around five weeks.