McKINNEY, Texas - A key witness in the Christina Morris kidnapping case pleaded the fifth on Thursday and declined to testify.
The kidnapping trial for Enrique Arochi continued with several police officers and childhood friends taking the stand for the prosecution.
Arochi was the last person seen with Christina Morris two years ago. Police said they found her DNA in the trunk of his car and charged him with aggravated kidnapping.
Although Morris’ boyfriend, Hunter Foster, was not out with her and her friends the night she went missing, he has figured prominently in the trial.
Both sides had hoped to question Foster on his whereabouts that night. The defense was particularly interested in asking about texts Morris had supposedly sent him about threatening messages she'd received. However, Foster pleaded the fifth.
Morris's friend, Taylor Barry, was also supposed to testify but pleaded the fifth as well.
A Plano police officer gave testimony about how he was the one who received the missing persons call regarding Morris and then found her car in a parking garage. But he said there was nothing suspicious about the car.
More key testimony came from one of Morris's close friends who lived in the apartment at the Shops at Legacy where they were all hanging out the night she disappeared. She testified Morris had not been drinking heavily to her knowledge and said Arochi did not exhibit any aggressive behavior toward anyone that night. So there was no reason to tell Morris not to walk with him to her car.
During opening statements, prosecutors showed surveillance video of Arochi and Morris walking together in that garage. They said Arochi was two hours late for work the next morning and was seen at a gas station cleaning out his trunk.
But the defense pointed out that the DNA evidence found in the trunk was not from blood evidence. Also, no evidence of blood, saliva or semen was ever found in the parking garage where Morris disappeared, according to police testimony.
Arochi’s lawyers are trying to raise doubt by floating other possible theories, including one that involves a suspicious green car in the garage, and showing the jury text messages between Morris and her boyfriend about drugs.
Several of Morris’ other friends took the stand. They all said she was afraid of the dark and didn’t like to be alone. One childhood friend described her as being “headstrong” and said she would not do something against her will and would never willingly climb into a trunk.
There’s been no sign of Morris since her disappearance.
If convicted, Arochi could be sentenced to up to life in prison.