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Sylvie Cachay Update: Trial begins for Nicholas Brooks, man charged in 2010 death of swimsuit designer in NYC

Sylvie Cachay at her July 18, 2009 fashion show at the Raleigh Hotel in Miami, Florida.
Michael Buckner
(CBS/AP) NEW YORK - Opening statements and testimony were presented Friday in the trial of Nicholas Brooks, a songwriter's son who is charged with the 2010 murder of Sylvie Cachay, his swimsuit designer girlfriend, in a New York City hotel room. 

PICTURES: Sylvie Cachay: Fashion designer found dead in posh NYC hotel

Prosecutor Jordan Arnold told the jury Brooks drowned the 33-year-old Cachay, whose body was found in an overflowing bathtub in the SoHo House on Dec. 9, 2010.

Prosecutors have described Brooks as an unemployed opportunist who used the Peruvian-American designer to fund his lavish lifestyle and marijuana habit.

Before her death, Cachay allegedly threatened to cut Brooks off if he didn't clean up his act. Prosecutors say this ultimatum is what drove him to kill.

Brooks' lawyer, Jeffrey Hoffman, said authorities "rushed to judgment" by arresting his client in the high-profile killing. He has pleaded not guilty.

Hoffman admits that the couple did have a rocky relationship, but claims that Cachay may have been heavily medicated and slipped in the tub, CBS New York reports. He also argues that Brooks' DNA was never found near the bathtub faucets.

Brooks claims Cachay was drowsy from taking medication and he'd gone out and left her sleeping on the night of her death. She was reportedly later found partially clothed and submerged in a bathtub.

But Cachay's father, Dr. Antonio Cachay, and her brother, Patrick Orlando, both testified Sylvie only took showers, not baths.

On Monday, the first police officer that responded to the scene of the alleged murder testified that Cachay's body had been removed from an overflowing bathtub in the hotel by the time he arrived, CBS New York reports.

The officer reportedly testified that he viewed the death as suspicious.

"I thought it was very odd that a person would have gotten into the bathtub dressed in a sweater and underwear," he told the jury, according to the station.

Also on Monday, Lisa McHale, a public relations woman who represented Sylvie Cachay's swimsuit line, testified that Cachay told her that she was incompatible with Brooks in every way.

According to McHale's testimony, Cachay described Brooks as unemployed, uninterested in working, unable to hold a job, a night owl and a drug user.

In their last conversation, which was two days before Cachay's death, McHale testified, Cachay told her she had finally broken off the destructive relationship.

The trial is expected to last through the beginning of next month.

Complete Coverage of Sylvie Cachay on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

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