Defense in Nixzmary murder trial calls first witnesses

BROOKLYN - Defense attorneys in the Nixzmary Brown murder trial began calling their witnesses to the stand Friday.

Lawyers for Cesar Rodriguez, Nixzmary?s stepfather, hope to convince the jury that Nixzmary?s mother, Nixzaliz Santiago, killed the little girl. They are arguing that authorities did not take a DNA sample from Santiago, hoping that this will force doubt into the minds of jurors. Rodriguez and Santiago have both been charged with Nixzmary?s murder.

The defense attorneys called a DNA expert as their first witness. He confirmed that while a sample of Rodriguez?s DNA was taken, Santiago?s was not. Lawyers hope this will help their case.

?We want the jury to know exactly what we?ve been saying from the beginning,? Defense Attorney Jeffrey Schwartz says. ?It was a one-sided, lopsided investigation where they targeted Cesar and really left Nixzaliz Santiago out of the radar.?

Prosecutors say they would have called for a DNA sample from Santiago if they really believed she was a part of the evidence. They say nothing has come back from the DNA tests with an unknown female DNA profile.

The defense will continue to call witnesses on Tuesday. They say they have many more witnesses to call, including members of the board of education and the Administration for Children?s Services.

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