Opening arguments are heard in the trial of a Cornell University student,
accused of murdering his wife last year.
25 year old Blajez Kot is on trial in Tompkins County Court.
Defense Attorney Joseph Joch told the jury that his client did kill his wife.
But he says Blajez Kot was suffering from mental problems and didn't realize what he was doing.
Kot is on trial for the death of 28 year old Dr. Caroline Coffey.
Her body was found on a running trail in Cass Park in Ithaca last June.
"He was shy, he was awkward, he was retreating, he was aloof and he was kind of a loner and these are the kinds of personality traits that fit into a certain pattern," Joch says.
Joch says Kot's thinking was eccentric as a young man.
He sometimes thought people were watching him through the outlets in the wall.
Around the time of his wife's death, Kot believed the stresses in his life were caused by an unknown force controlling and testing him.
And he believed that his wife had been replaced by another person.
Joch says Kot believed he had to kill his wife, to interrupt the test.
"You have to imagine a person who's never done a wrong thing in his life. Never been violent to a human being on the face of the Earth....thinking of doing something like that....why," say Joch.
During his opening statement, Assistant District Attorney Andrew McElwee said he intends to prove that Kot is guilty of murder.
He believes Kot intentionally killed his wife.
McElwee says after killing Coffey, Kot went back to the couple's home and set it on fire.
He says Kot's actions paint the only picture jurors need.
"The evidence in this case is going to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he tampered with evidence, his own clothing. Evidence linking him to the killing of his wife by destroying it so it couldn't be found or used by police," McElwee says.
Kot is charged with 2nd degree murder, arson and tampering with evidence.
The first witness called was state park police officer.
He says saw Kot's car in a park parking lot after dark.
When he went up to the car to tell him to leave, he noticed Kot had dried blood on his arm and there were pools of blood in the car.
Without warning, Kot sped off leading police on a high speed chase.
It ended when Kot crashed his car into a group of trees on the side of the road.
Testimony will resume Friday morning at 9:00 am.