With a hand to his face, Jason "Blu" Griffith sits during a break in testimony during the second day of his murder trial on May 9, 2014. (Les Krifaton/FOX5)
Defendant Jason "Blu" Griffith, right, next to his attorneys at the Regional Justice Center on Thursday, May 8. (FOX5)
Debora Flores Narvaez's body was found in a tub filled with cement during a missing persons search in January 2011. (FOX5 FILE)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -
Friday marked the beginning of testimony in the trial of a man accused of killing his girlfriend and hiding her dismembered body in concrete.
After more than three years and four delays, the murder trial of Jason "Blu" Griffith finally got underway Thursday at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas with opening statements.
Griffith is charged with the slaying of Debora Flores Narvaez, a dancer in the Luxor hotel-casino's Fantasy show who disappeared in December 2010.
Her dismembered body was found weeks later encased in cement in a Las Vegas home.
Griffith listened intently while the judge gave jurors their instructions.
Prosecuting attorney Marc DiGiacomo began opening statements by telling jurors that Flores Narvaez's disappearance prompted one of the most intense searches in modern Las Vegas history.
DiGiacomo admitted that Griffith and Flores Narvaez had a volatile romantic relationship. He told jurors to expect that Griffith's attorneys will claim the slaying was a case of self-defense rather than murder.
"You'll hear evidence of self-preservation. That's a significant difference - between self-preservation and self-defense," DiGiacomo said.
Defense attorney Jeff Banks did just that, telling jurors his client was defending himself.
"You will hear about violence, property crimes by Debbie Flores against Mr. Griffith, stalking behavior by Debbie Flores against Mr. Griffith, threats by and against Mr. Griffith, harassment by Debbie Flores aimed at Mr. Griffith, battery, weapons, etc.," Banks said.
Griffith's ex-roommate, Louis Colombo, is expected to testify for the prosecution. Investigators have said he tipped off police about the crime, but only after he helped Griffith dismember Narvaez's body.
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Monday, July 28 2014 1:54 AM EDT2014-07-28 05:54:28 GMT
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