WASHINGTON - Fairfax County police officers described the bloody crime scene three years ago when 19-year-old Vanessa Pham's body was found fatally stabbed in her small white sedan.
During the opening day of the murder trial of Julio Miguel Blanco Garcia, prosecutors argued that the defendant should be convicted of first-degree murder because he armed himself with a butcher knife.
Pham reportedly had agreed to give Blanco Garcia and his infant daughter a ride to the hospital after he approached her at a Falls Church shopping center.
When Pham took a wrong turn, Blanco Garcia, who reportedly had smoked PCP that day, allegedly took the knife from his backpack and stabbed Pham more than a dozen times, before escaping the car through the sunroof.
One of Pham's older cousins held back tears Monday, as she identified Pham in an autopsy photo.
Defense attorneys argued that Blanco Garcia should be convicted of a lesser charge because he was coming off PCP and was hallucinating. Attorneys said he thought Pham was going to hurt his baby, calling her killing "a freak set of circumstances."
When the trial resumes Tuesday, a medical examiner is expected to take the stand for the prosecution.
Pham was killed June 27, 2010, along Route 50, where her white car was found in a ditch near Gallows Road.
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