Mother of murdered 12-year-old girl gives heartbreaking testimony in trial

Posted at 7:11 AM, Jul 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-10 07:39:38-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF)  — The trial for a man accused of brutally murdering a 12-year-old girl continues Tuesday, with the victim's mother taking the stand.

Metro Nashville police say Roy Coons Jr. is facing multiple charges, including premeditated first-degree murder and attempted rape of a child, in the 2017 killing of Yhoana Arteaga.

Arteaga's mother, Patricia Velazquez, and two siblings came home on August 10, 2017 to find her dead with blunt force trauma to her body and her clothes in disarray.

Velazquez testified first, saying Coons cut the family’s yard for two months in 2017. Velazquez would spend the mornings with her children if they weren’t in school and would go to work at a dry cleaning business in the evenings.

The day Arteaga was murdered, she stayed home recovering from an ankle injury, Velazquez said, while she was at work. Velazquez read the last conversation she had with her daughter in court.

It took nearly seven weeks for police to make an arrest in the case, saying scientific evidence linked Coons to the murder.

Coons lived two doors down from the Arteaga family.

Prior to his arrest, a NewsChannel 5 crew spoke to Coons, who did not mention feeling sad or upset and even suggested police expand their search to outside of the mobile home park where they lived.

Coons’ father told NewsChannel 5 that he'd never believe his son committed the crime because it wasn’t like him.

Less than an hour before, Arteaga had texted her mom saying someone was knocking on their door. Police say evidence at the scene led them to believe she knew her killer.

Brandon Marshall is the courtroom and will have updates throughout the day on Twitter @NC5_BMarshall and will wrap today's testimony on NewsChannel 5 at 5 and 6 p.m.