ALHAMBRA — Opening arguments were heard Thursday in the second murder trial of an Alhambra man accused of killing his girlfriend and hiding her body in a trash can at a friend’s house in Arcadia nearly five years ago.
An Alhambra Superior Court jury failed to reach a verdict in the first murder trial for 37-year-old Isaac Campbell late last year. He’s accused of the Aug. 12, 2007 slaying of girlfriend Liya “Jessie” Lu, 31, of San Gabriel.
Following the hung jury, which deadlocked 10-2 in favor of convicting Campbell, prosecutors announced they would hold another trial.
Jury selection was completed Wednesday, and opening arguments in the case were made Thursday before witness testimony began, court officials said.
In Campbell’s first trial, prosecutors alleged that Campbell killed Lu, whom he met while both were nursing students at Pasadena City College, killed Lu with a choke hold. But coroner’s officials were never able to determine an official cause of death for Lu because of the condition in which her body was found.
Lu’s body was discovered about a month after she disappeared, wrapped in plastic trash bags and left, along with kitty litter, inside a trash can he left at a friend’s home in Arcadia.
Campbell’s defense argued that he discovered Lu dead, panicked and hid the body, but was not responsible for her death.
He remains jailed in lieu of $1.025 million.