The murder trial of Caleb Cannon was underway after a lengthy jury selection at the A. A. Birch Building in downtown Nashville.
Caleb Cannon was charged with first degree murder after Nikki Burgess disappeared in Nashville nearly three years ago.
Jury selection began Monday morning and ended around 2 p.m. The trial began shortly after that.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys narrowed the pool of 75 potential jurors down to 16.
Judge Cheryl Blackburn prompted opening statements and a couple of witnesses to take the stand on the same day.
Cannon was charged with first degree murder for the death of the mother of his son, Nikki Burgess. She first disappeared in May 2014 but her body was never found.
Defense Attorney Jim Todd made it clear to the jury that there is no human evidence. He argued that the Metro Nashville Police Department had a tunnel vision when investigating her death and claimed they never focused on other potential suspects.
Despite the fact that a body was never found, state prosecutors will present circumstantial evidence they hope will convince the jury.
Assistant District Attorney Megan King said there will be a witness who claimed to have seen two suspicious people carrying what looked to be dead weight from Burgess' home.
The state is expected to include cadaver experts who made "hits" of a smell of hum and decay at Burgess' home.
Her friend Stephanie Lamoreaux was the first witness to take the stand. She had never met Cannon and never suspected anyone who would want to harm her friend.
She filed a missing persons report when Burgess never responded to phone calls and text messages. Lamoreaux who was identified as Stephanie Blainey then visited her house with Burgess' then boyfriend and father.
They found dogs loose and feces everywhere and described the house as a disarray. What was peculiar was seeing the picture of a bottle of bleach found in the house since Burgess told them she was allergic to it.
Burgess' vehicle was also left parked with her wallet still inside.
The second day of the murder trial will begin Tuesday morning with two juvenile witnesses.
The trial is expected to last until next week.
— Matthew Torres (@NC5_MTorres) May 15, 2017
Cannon's former cell mate allegedly told police that he admitted to beating and strangling Burgess before getting rid of her body in Knoxville.
Witnesses reported seeing two men carrying something out of her home the day she disappeared. That second person has never been identified.
However, Cannon was officially charged with first degree murder about a year later.