RYAN VAN VELZER
PHOENIX (AP) – The prosecution has presented closing arguments at the trial of an Arizona woman charged with murder in the 2011 disappearance of her 5-year-old daughter.
Authorities say 41-year-old Jerice Hunter kept her daughter Jhessye (pronounced Jesse) Shockley in a bedroom closet, deprived her of food and water and beat her.
Prosecutor Blaine Gadow says Hunter killed Jhessye, stuffed her body in a suitcase and dropped it in a dumpster.
Hunter‘s defense attorney says there’s no proof that Jhessye is dead.
Officers conducted an extensive search of Jhessye’s neighborhood and a 96-day search of a landfill that ended without finding the remains.
Hunter has pleaded not guilty to the charges and maintains that she’s innocent.
The jury heard closing arguments Monday.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.