First day of testimony begins in The People vs. James Worley

First day of testimony begins in The People vs. James Worley

FULTON COUNTY, OH (WTOL) - A jury has been selected in the trial of James Worley.

Opening statements were delivered Monday morning and the state has begun to call their witnesses.

The courtroom was scattered with several members of Sierah Joughin's family. Not only did they have to hear the details on how the state believes Sierah was kidnapped, held and murdered by the defendant, they also watched as Sierah's boyfriend testified about his last moments with Sierah.

As soon as the jury was seated, the state explained the evidence they plan to present that proves James Worley's guilt. This evidence includes lingerie, a bike helmet and a ball gag they say contains Sierah's DNA.

The prosecutor also used maps and explained the scene where they believe Worley kidnapped Sierah, the barn they say he then took her to and the place police say Worley buried her body.

The jury then heard from Sierah's boyfriend Josh Kolasinski, the last person believed to see Sierah alive.

Kolasinski and Sierah knew each other since they were kids but had been dating for seven years when she was kidnapped and killed.

Overcome with emotion as he took the stand, he explained how Sierah rode her bike to his house on July 19, 2016. When she was ready to go home, Kolasinski said he got on his motorcycle to accompany her back home but parted ways just a couple of miles from Sierah's home.

"She said she didn't need me by her side and that she was fine. We were at a corner, I gave her a kiss and said goodbye," Kolasinski said.

Sierah's mother, Shelia Vaculik, heard from Kolasinski later that night, worried after Sierah was not answering her phone.

Vaculik also took the stand Monday. She assured the jury that neither she nor her daughter knew James Worley.

Kolasinski also confirmed under oath that neither he nor Sierah ever met him.

The jury saw pictures such as a sock Sierah was wearing the night she went missing, as well as a piece of lingerie that was pictured on a model that the State says was found in a barn on Worley's property with Sierah's blood.

There is unsettling evidence that will be part of this case that the jury will view and hear about. Much of that evidence was described in detail during the State's opening statements.

"You will hear how she died due to mechanical asphyxiation," Fulton County Prosecutor Scott Hasselman said. "A yellow dog toy pushed down her throat, so far, tied to secure it in her mouth, put in with such force that it broke one of her teeth."

Monday afternoon, jurors also heard from people who searched for Sierah. This includes an officer from BCI and a parole officer.

12 men and women make up the jury alone, with six alternates chosen. The jury is made up of nine women and three males.

Follow WTOL:  

Download our app here

Copyright 2018 WTOL. All rights reserved.