The murder trial for a man accused of stabbing his aunt to death and trying to murder his uncle, was underway Tuesday in Shasta County.
Cody Nash could get life in prison if he's convicted of murdering his aunt, 66-year-old Candace Watson. He’s also charged with attempted premeditated murder for trying to stab to death her husband Bob Watson, a former school superintendent.
The violent attacks happened at around 5:30 a.m. the morning of June 8, 2012, at the Watson’s home on Boston Avenue in west Redding.
Candace was found dead in the couple’s garage, a cordless phone lying next to her. According to prosecutors Candace fought to get to the phone, dial 911, and alert law enforcement to what was happening inside her home.
Bob had rushed to a neighbor’s house, covered in blood and naked from being attacked while he was in the shower.
Prosecutors and Nash’s defense attorney addressed the jury during opening statements Tuesday morning.
Prosecutors played a recording of who they say was Cody Nash, admitting his guilt to investigators. Shasta County Deputy District Attorney Curtis Woods also told jurors Nash “followed his aunt Candace, grabbed her by her hair, and cut her throat.”
Woods went on to say Nash has “exploded” with a rush of emotions, also telling investigators he “had to kill everything in that house.”
Nash’s defense attorney, Michael Horan, explained to the court that his client “suffers from schizophrenia” and that Nash’s thinking that June morning was clouded by his “diseased and intoxicated brain.”
Throughout multiple witness testimonies, Nash fidgeted quite a bit, constantly twirling a pen in his hand and bouncing his leg.
A second recording was then played by the prosecution. It was the 911 call Candace made from inside her garage. On the tape, Candace never spoke, but the dispatcher who took the call testified she “knew something was wrong” when she heard “labored breathing” on the line.
Those sounds on the dispatch recording were the last moments Candace was alive.
At the end of the minutes-long recording, jurors could hear the first responders arrive. Candace was pronounced dead, with the cordless phone next to her.
One of the first on-scene, Redding Police Officer John Sheldon described the crime scene as having "more blood than I'd ever seen in my life.”
Neighbor Dianna Corbisiero shared the moments Nash’s uncle, Bob Watson, was suddenly on her front porch, covered in blood and motioning for help.
Prosecutors then showed the gruesome image of how investigators found Candace’s body. She was in her bathrobe, facedown on the garage floor, in a pool of her own blood. Jurors as well as Candace's family members and loved ones in the courtroom all made a slight gasp, and shuddered when the photo was projected onto a large screen.
Bob Watson, the man who survived the attack allegedly at the hands of his own nephew, then took the stand.
Bob is now wheelchair-bound because of the violent attack.
It’s a struggle from his to speak, because he was cut so deeply around his jaw and throat.
But when Bob was asked by the prosecutor if he wanted to testify in this case, Bob very clearly said, “Absolutely.”
Bob’s testimony did not exactly match the details described by the prosecution but they attempted to explain these contradictions by saying his memory was impaired due to injuries sustained during the attack.
When given the opportunity to question Bob on his testimony the defense declined to question the witness and thanked him for his time.
The trial will continue tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.