The mother of 12-year-old Yhoana Arteaga left the courtroom in tears during the prosecution’s closing argument in the murder trial of neighbor Roy Coons Jr. This happened when the prosecutor pulled out the murder weapon.
Prosecutors said the defendant killed Arteaga on August 10, 2017. The victim was home from school after suffering a roller skating injury. She sent her mother a text message that someone had been knocking at the door, and she said she thought it was the man who cut their grass.
Her mother later found her dead in the home, authorities said. Arteaga had been strangled to death with her yellow taekwondo belt.
#RoyCoons – Detectives went from trailer to trailer the night Yhoana Arteaga was killed. They interviewed Roy Coons and went back a second time to talk to him again, the same night. Coons gets pretty agitated saying he doesn’t know anything about it. https://t.co/f9x9Hnrs2Z pic.twitter.com/OQ64gqp4TI
— Cathy Russon (@cathyrusson) July 11, 2019
Defense lawyer David Hopkins said in closing arguments Monday that there was no fingerprint evidence at the scene. He also said that Coons wasn’t the only man to cut the family’s grass. There were two other men responsible; it’s unclear when Atreaga exactly died, he argued. Coons said he was home, and didn’t even try mislead the police about his whereabouts, said the defense.
Coons’ father testifies to countless occasions he and his son have been inside Yhoana’s family’s trailer, previously lived in by a good friend. Partial matches for Coons’ paternal DNA were found in the trailer, including on Yhoana’s body #CoonsTrial @wsmv
— Rebecca Cardenas (@RebeccaWSMV) July 15, 2019
The prosecution, however, argued that DNA evidence was inconsistent because Coons was wearing gloves. Assistant District Attorney Pam Anderson pulled out the murder weapon during the rebuttal closing argument. (It was at this time that Atreaga’s mother left the courtroom in tears.) Anderson detailed how Yhoana’s mother found the girl dead and untied the belt. The prosecutor pointed out that the mother’s DNA wasn’t found on this. By doing this, Anderson was trying to show how important it was that Coons’ DNA was found on Atreaga.
[Screengrab via Law&Crime Network]