JANESVILLE — The second trial of a man charged with brutally stabbing a 43-year-old Janesville woman to death got underway Monday, with the anticipated weeklong trial set to play out in Rock County Circuit Court after a mistrial was declared in 2019.
Julian D. Collazo, 24, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the stabbing death of Christine H. Scaccia-Lubeck, who was found deceased in her Janesville home on Dec. 9, 2017.
Rock County District Attorney David O’Leary with Assistant Gerry Urbik are once again attempting to prove Collazo’s guilt, bringing forward witnesses including Scaccia-Lubeck’s mother and multiple Janesville Police Department officers and detectives.
A key difference to this week’s trial compared to the previous one in 2019 is the fact that a co-defendant in the case, Nicole R. Kazar, 27, will testify. Kazar was sentenced in May of 2019 for her role in driving a car that belonged to Lubeck as she and Collazo’s attempt to leave the area.
O’Leary said he anticipates Kazar will testify Tuesday, July 20.
Collazo and Kazar were arrested together in Cape Girardeau, Missouri in the days following the homicide. Authorities learned shortly after the murder that the pair were involved in a romantic relationship and that Scaccia-Lubeck was also involved with Collazo.
Authorities have said in the past they did not previously suspect Kazar to be involved in the stabbing, but defense Attorney Jeffrey Jensen told jurors on Monday he plans to show that it was in fact Kazar who stabbed Lubeck and that Collazo took responsibility to protect his love interest at the time.
Monday’s testimony centered on building a picture of the crime scene for the jury with Diane Somers, Scaccia-Lubeck’s mother, recounting her last day interacting with her daughter who she lived next-door to.
“I walked in the dining room and I noticed spots of blood in the dining room and on the floor,” Somers said. “I saw her feet in the doorway of the front bedroom and I called her name. I reached out and touched her. She was cold and then I called 911. I don’t remember much after that.”
Through her testimony, Somers told the court that Scaccia-Lubeck had gifted kitchen knife sets to family members, with the state linking a missing, green kitchen knife to the case.
Janesville Police Sgt. Steven Carpenter was tasked with mapping out the location of the crime scene, explaining the various aspects of the home in the 400 block of River Street as Janesville Police Officer Jeremy Wiley informed jurors about Scaccia-Lubeck’s vehicle being missing and the areas authorities found blood splatter in the home.
The longest testimony given on Monday came from Janesville detective Ed Van Fossen, who explained various aspects of the case to jurors, from how the department handled its initial evidence gathering to showing the jury various evidence exhibits tied to the case, including shoes allegedly worn by Collazo and clothes collected from Collazo and Kazar immediately after their arrest in Missouri.
Key pieces of evidence for the state appear to be a pair of white Air Jordan sneakers worn by Collazo that are allegedly the same shoes that left imprints in the blood stains at the scene of the murder— along with a pair of blood-stained pants allegedly worn by Collazo.
Monday’s testimony ended in hearing from Janesville Detective Chris Buescher, who went through phone records illustrating the calls made by Scaccia-Lubeck prior to her death and the messages sent between Collazo and Kazar following the stabbing.