Opening statements began in the 1st-degree murder trial of John Oldson Tuesday. Oldson is accused of killing Catherine Beard in Ord in 1989.
The prosecution started by giving their version of events, saying that Beard turned down Oldson's sexual advances. They said "this is the story of a man who was rejected. He couldn't handle it, and he killed her." The state also noted that Oldson changed his story every time he was interviewed by law enforcement.
The defense countered that there are witnesses who collaborate Oldson's story. They also noted that no forensic evidence has ever tied Oldson to Beard's death and that their forensics expert will testify that the victim's injuries are consistent with being struck by a vehicle.
The state called a total of six witnesses Tuesday, including Beard's sister and close friend, as well as law enforcement officials and individuals who saw Beard the night she disappeared.
Beard's close friend was on the stand the longest Tuesday and recounted that Oldson asked her, "What's going to happen if her body comes floating down the river? Who do you think they're going to blame? Me!"
Court reconvenes Tuesday at 9 a.m. with the prosecution calling its other witnesses.