Jurors in the 401st Judicial District Court in the Collin County Courthouse in McKinney heard testimony on Thursday from several witnesses on the second day of the trial of Enrique Arochi. The 26-year-old man is accused in the disappearance of Christina Morris, the UTD alumna missing since 2014.
Arochi, who plead not guilty on Sept. 7, faces up to life in prison if found guilty. Security footage from the Shops at Legacy in Plano shows Arochi walking with Morris in a parking garage on the night of Aug. 30, 2014. Morris has not been seen since.
The prosecution, led by Collin County Prosecutor Zeke Fortenberry, first questioned Morris’ father, Mark Morris. During his testimony, Mark stated Morris had a fear of the dark, slept with the lights on and rarely walked alone at night.
He also said she was claustrophobic and would never do something like climb into the trunk of Arochi’s car, where investigators found traces of her DNA.
“Christina will never walk alone,” he said.
Other witnesses included friends of Morris and members of the Plano police department involved with the investigation.
After the jury recessed for lunch, the prosecution and Arochi’s defense, led by attorney Keith Gore, debated with Judge Mark Rusch on whether or not to allow Hunter Foster, Morris’ boyfriend, to testify.
On June 6, Foster was sentenced to two years and nine months in federal prison on one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.
Prosecutors wanted to talk to Foster to prove he was not in Plano the night of Morris’ disappearance, while the defense believed they could reveal a number of discrepancies in Foster’s original testimony to police. Ultimately, Rusch declined to allow Foster, or Taylor Barry, who the prosecution said was with Foster on the night of Morris’ disappearance, to testify, citing protections allowed under the 5th Amendment against self-incrimination.
Paulina Petrosky, who owned the apartment Morris and several other friends spent time at the night of Aug. 29, 2014, and Sabrina Boss, who was at the apartment that night, closed out the day as the last witnesses.
Petrosky said a group of friends, including Morris and Arochi, agreed to meet at her apartment that night, where they had drinks before going out to local bars. Petrosky said Morris did not have much to drink that night.
Petrosky said Morris originally intended to stay the night at her apartment, but she left because she wanted to talk to Foster, who Morris was upset with, Petrosky said. She said that’s when she left the apartment with Arochi.
A few days later, Petrosky received a text from Foster asking about Morris’ whereabouts.
“That’s when we called and got her parents involved,” Petrosky said.
Both the prosecution and defense spent nearly an hour and a half going over details of that night with Petrosky before Boss came to the stand for the last testimony of the day. Boss, who invited Arochi to Petrosky’s that night, said nothing seemed out of the ordinary. She confirmed she had no concerns that Arochi had bad intentions towards her.
She did confirm, however, that she believes Arochi was romantically interested in her and that he acted angry after she didn’t lay down on a couch with her at Petrosky’s apartment.
When asked by the defense if anyone had any concerns about Arochi walking with Morris, Boss confirmed there were none.
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