LEXINGTON, S.C. — Monday marked the beginning to an end of a trial for Nicolle Sanchez-Peralta accused of helping kidnap and kill 15-year-old Sanaa Amenhotep back in 2021.
Sanchez-Peralta has pleaded not guilty to her charges, but her 2 codefendants, Jaylen Wilson, and her boyfriend, Treveon Nelson have now both pleaded guilty.
Wilson showed up to court Monday morning for what people thought would be jury selection for his trial, however, he decided to plead guilty to charges of murder, kidnapping, possession of a weapon during a violent crime, and criminal conspiracy.
The state read off what they have pieced together as motivation for the killing, saying evidence suggests that Sanaa Amenhotep's murder was a revenge killing for a series of drive-by shootings at Treveon Nelson's house.
The defense in Sanchez Peralta's trial has argued that her involvement was forced.
After the guilty plea, Snachez-Peralta's trial resumed at 1 p.m. seeing five witnesses in about three hours. All of the testimonies Monday were from law enforcement.
A toxicologist gave her report, there was more discussion about the potential for a third gun, and there was the presentation of more evidence.
The prosecution showed jurors a letter to Treveon Nelson recovered from Sanchez-Peralta's jail cell five months after her arrest.
They claim she professes her love for him and talks about how happy he made her. The prosecution says that’s shows that she not abused by Nelson before the killing. But the defense countered and said those who are in abusive relationships can still have feelings for their abuser.
Now that the state has rested, the defense has the opportunity to let Sanchez-Peralta take the stand. Judge Debra McCaslin says she is giving Sanchez-Peralta the night to think about what she wants to do before court starts back up again at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.
As for sentencing for each defendant, Judge Debra McCaslin says she is waiting for this trial to finish up so she can sentence all three defendants together.