Opening statements today in Engel’s trial |

Opening statements today in Engel’s trial

Opening statements are scheduled to begin 9 a.m. today in Nevada County Superior Court for the trial of accused attempted murderer Fred Engel.

Testimony is also slated to begin today, continue through Thursday, and may extend to next week.

The first phase of the trial will determine Engel’s guilt or innocence. If the jury finds Engel guilty, a second phase – with the same jurors – would ensue to determine whether Engel was sane during the alleged crime.

Engel pleaded innocent by reason of insanity on Aug. 5, 2005, to charges of attempted murder with premeditation and arson of an inhabited dwelling.

After cleaning Nevada City resident Susan Wallace’s rugs in April 2005 for his former employer, Chem-Dry of the Gold Country, Engel allegedly returned after midnight May 7, slashed her throat and stabbed her in the colon and kidney.

He also allegedly killed two of her dogs, poured gasoline in the house and set it on fire.

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