Arochi Trial: September 13
8 months ago
The trial of Enrique Arochi, continued with Hunter Foster, the victim’s boyfriend at the time of her disappearance, taking the stand at 12:45 p.m. Judge Mark Rusch had granted Foster immunity from being charged with non-violent drug crimes earlier in the day.
Rusch explained that in exchange for truthful testimony for the Morris case, Foster wouldn’t be prosecuted for drug charges using that testimony. Foster is currently a federal inmate serving a 33-month sentence on the charge of conspiracy to distribute MDMA or ecstasy.
Foster first got involved with dealing drugs in Dallas County and he testified that his primary suppliers were his friend Taylor Barry and someone he identified as “P.”
Foster testified that on the night of Aug. 29, 2014, he and Morris decided to spend time separately with their respective friends. Foster said Morris left their shared residence between 8 and 9:30 p.m. to meet some friends in Allen.
Foster testified that he headed to a bar in Uptown called Concrete Cowboy. He said he was doing and dealing drugs that night.
Foster testified that he had his cell phone with him that night. Prosecutor Zeke Fortenberry reviewed Foster’s exchange with Morris on the night of her disappearance.
He said he was too intoxicated to reply to Morris’ messages that night, so he ignored them.
In the transcript of texts shown in court, Morris had sent a message at 3:01 a.m. on Aug. 30, 2014 saying, “I hope you’re ok, because I’m not.” She had previously asked him to come pick her up because she was under the influence of alcohol and unable to drive.
Foster said Mark Morris, Christina’s Morris’ father, was the first to reach out to him about her whereabouts. Foster testified that he talked to various members of Morris’ family and Arochi to try to learn where Morris was, but didn’t reach out to her directly until Sept. 2 at 10 p.m.
On Sept. 3, 2014, Foster was asked to meet with the Plano Police Department and when asked to turn over his phone, he said he crafted a story to avoid handing it over. He testified being afraid that exchanges about dealing drugs would be found on his phone. He later turned in his phone after deleting some conversations.
Several other witnesses took the stand after Foster. Anny Cruz, a Kroger store manager in Allen, and Detective Daniel Bryeans of Plano PD testified about surveillance footage retrieved from the cameras in the gas station attached to the store.
Around 10:15 a.m. on Aug. 30, 2014, video footage shows Arochi pumping gas and observing his car’s trunk several times.
Two more witnesses, who were at the Bank of America ATM on separate occasions in the early morning of Aug. 30, 2014 at the Shops at Legacy, said they didn’t hear anything unusual or see any signs of a person putting up a struggle.
These witnesses were followed by members involved in the investigation of Arochi’s workplace. At the time, Arochi was employed at a Sprint store in Wylie, TX.
Shawn McKinney, a director of sales at Sprint, was asked to provide documentation about Arochi’s work schedule. On the time stamps shown in court, Arochi clocked in to work at 10:51 a.m. on Aug. 30, 2014 — almost three hours later than when he was supposed to begin.
Police officer John Hay of Plano PD was tasked with finding a vacuum cleaner at the Sprint store after a Shop Vac box was found in Arochi’s trash. Hay testified he wasn’t aware of any evidentiary value the vacuum produced after he brought it to the police station, as he was only a peripheral officer in the investigation.
Juan Ponce and David Leal, who both worked with Arochi at the Sprint store, said they noticed injuries on his arm when he came to work on Aug. 30, 2014.
Ponce said Arochi was “walking with a limp” and looked “a little rough around the edges.”
Ponce testified Arochi had told him he’d gotten in a fight at the Shops at Legacy the night before and Leal said he overheard Arochi claiming he was hurt when trying to rotate his car’s tires.
The day closed with two old acquaintances of Arochi’s taking the stand. They were both present at the meet up between Morris and her friends on Aug. 29, 2014. One of them, Alex Buahiter, said Arochi told him after he separated from Morris that night, he doesn’t remember much because he blacked out.
The trial recessed for the day around 5:10 p.m.