Opening arguments are scheduled this morning in the trial of a 22-year-old woman accused in a deadly home-invasion robbery last year in Edgewood.
Amanda Knight has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, first-degree robbery and two counts of first-degree assault. She’s the second of four defendants to go to trial in the slaying of Jim Sanders the night of April 28, 2010.
Prosecutors contend Knight and Kiyoshi Higashi went to the Sanders home after Jim Sanders listed a diamond ring for sale on Craigslist. The two posed as buyers and, after they entered the home, Higashi pulled out a gun.
Higashi and Knight are accused of binding Jim Sanders and his wife, Charlene, with plastic ties. They then signaled two men waiting outside. Those men – Clabon Berniard and Joshua Reese – entered the house and herded the Sanders’ two school-aged sons at gunpoint into the kitchen with their parents, prosecutors allege.
Jim and Charlene Sanders were beaten and threatened with death before Jim Sanders, 43, broke free of the plastic ties binding his hands and fought with the robbers, according to testimony during Higashi’s trial.
Sanders then was fatally shot. The robbers stole jewelry, a laptop computer, cellphones and other items, then fled.
A jury found Higashi, 23, guilty as charged last month.
Berniard and Reese have pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges and await trial.