Day one of high-profile Jamie Yazzie murder trial
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Tuesday was day one of the Jamie Yazzie murder trial, something her family has waited more than four years for since her murder on the Navajo Nation.
Her boyfriend, Tre James, is on the stand for her murder and the assault of several other women. The Jamie Yazzie case was the focus of the recent True Crime Arizona documentary ‘The Forgotten.”
This federal trial is moving fast; not only did they select the jury today, but both sides presented opening statements, and they’ve already had five witnesses take the stand.
It was in June 2019 when Jamie Yazzie went missing on the Navajo Nation. She was last seen alive at her boyfriend Tre James’ house. Her remains weren’t found until November of 2021 on the Hopi reservation. Eventually, in the summer of 2022, Tre James was arrested for first-degree murder.
The day began with jury selection, then the prosecution and defense gave their opening statements, and witnesses started to take the stand, with defendant Tre James right in front of them.
Five people testified on Tuesday, including Jamie Yazzie’s aunt Marilene and Jamie’s sister Elaina, who were in the True Crime Arizona documentary.
After that, an HR manager from the Indian health service took the stand, then somebody who would drive Jamie back and forth to work, and they finished up with a person who saw Jamie shortly before she disappeared and had contact with her. The Yazzie family is not talking publicly before a verdict because they don’t want to cause a mistrial.
Something that makes this trial unique is Tre James isn’t only facing the murder charge for Jamie but is facing assault charges for several other women who court documents said he attacked after Jamie was killed and before he was arrested for her murder.
Blood evidence inside his home was sent to Quantico for a test in 2019. Results didn’t come back for more than two years, which became a huge issue in making a timely arrest.
As for Jamie Yazzie’s father, whose health is ailing, he told Arizona’s Family he has entered hospice care, but we’re told he’s desperately trying to make it to court Wednesday and is trying to see if his health will allow him to attend at least part of the day.
They left off with that last witness who saw Jamie shortly before she disappeared and will pick back up with that Wednesday.
We also expect to hear from tribal investigators this week. The trial is expected to last about three weeks.
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