The trial of an ex-convict in the home invasion and knife-slaying of an 80-year-old suburban Detroit woman has begun.
During opening statements Tuesday, the prosecution painted a detailed and violent picture of how Nancy Dailey died in her Royal Oak home.
Dailey was found beaten Nov. 20, 2011 in her home on Trafford. Her throat had been slit.
Alan Wood, 49, stands charged with first-degree murder in Dailey's death. He's also charged with stealing from her home and using her bank cards.
Co-defendant Tonia Watson pleaded guilty last month to second-degree murder and agreed to testify against Wood. With the plea, the 41-year-old could be freed one day.
Watson could testify later this week or next week.
The case has prompted scrutiny of the Michigan Department of Corrections for its supervision of parolees.
Suspects befriend victim
The prosecution says Wood and Watson needed drug money so they went into Dailey's neighborhood looking for odd jobs on Nov. 6, 2011.
Dailey let them rake leaves for her.
Prosecution say suspects returned with a plan
The prosecution argued that Wood and Watson became even more desperate for drug money that they returned on the evening of Nov. 20, 2011, to Dailey's house. But this time, the prosecution says, Watson knocked on the front door as a distraction while Wood went around to the back to break in.
Once inside, the prosecution says the suspects lead Dailey around her home, stealing things as they went until Dailey said she needed to use the bathroom. When Dailey tried to shut the bathroom door, the prosecution says Wood grabbed Dailey by her hair, dragged her to a bedroom, tied her up with a blue scarf and beat her. He later slit her throat and stabbed her one more time in the neck.
The two are caught on camera using Dailey's bank cards at several locations.
Cousin of victim testifies
Leah Storto, Dailey's cousin, told the court the two grew up together and had stayed close through the years.
“Nancy was a wonderful person. She was very loving and kind," she said.
Storto said she last talked to Nancy just after 5 p.m. on Nov. 20, 2011. She tried calling back about an hour later, but got no answer.
After several unanswered phone calls, Storto said she went over to Dailey's home. When she couldn't get in, she asked a man, who she called Steve the neighbor, to help get her in.
Once inside, Storto said she saw Dailey lying on the floor between the bedroom and hallway.
"I noticed that her face was covered and dripping with blood," she said.