Trial begins for Tulare man charged with killing his 69-year-old neighbor

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Trial is now underway in Tulare County for a man accused of killing his neighbor then robbing him. Evidence presented revealed the victim's cell phone was used to call the defendant's girlfriend the morning of the murder.

It's an emotional day in a Tulare County courtroom. Manuel Alves wipes away the tears on the witness stand as he recalls the day he found his father dead.

Alves testified he knew something was wrong on July 5, 2013. He said, "I knocked on his door and no one answered."

The prosecution says Manuel Alves Senior missed meeting his daughter that morning prompting the family to meet at the house. Inside Alves says he found his father in the living room face down in his own blood and the home had been ransacked. Brandon McDuffie has been charged with both the murder and robbery.

Tulare police officer Scott Wilkinson testified a pearl necklace was found in McDuffie's pocket. It's just one of the many pieces of evidence reviewed in the first day of testimonies along with photos of the grisly crime scene and a recording of McDuffie's interview with police telling them, "I don't know who killed the man."

McDuffie's defense team has told the 12 member jury to focus on the details in this case and consider his client's intent. Prosecutors say McDuffie needed money.

If convicted of all charges McDuffie faces life in prison without parole. null
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