Jury hears closing arguments in Santiago trial

Posted at: 02/20/2014 7:16 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

An Albuquerque jury heard closing arguments Thursday in the double-murder trial of Ronald Santiago. Santiago is accused of killing Greg and Bernadette Ohlemacher in 2005 cover up a fraud scheme. He was working with the couple on a mortgage loan.

Renee Ohlemacher, the couple’s daughter, was the one who called 911. Throughout this trial, Renee has taken the spotlight, with the defense using her to create reasonable doubt. The state argued Thursday that the defense has used negative information about Renee, including whether she grieved “properly,” to distract attention from Santiago. The defense disagrees. They say the state used her themselves and led her to testify in a way that would frame Santiago as the killer.

“Maybe her aunt didn't feel like she was doing what she should be doing, when she's been through such a traumatic event. Feeling is not fact,” prosecuting attorney Cheryl Johnston said in her statement.

“Renee was essential. They couldn't tell their story without her,” defense attorney Joseph Riggs said in his.

If the jury believes Renee Ohlemacher can’t be trusted, that could create enough reasonable doubt to find Santiago not guilty.

The jury will begin deliberating on Friday.