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Trial Begins For Man Charged In Killing Of Manhattan Fashion Designer Cachay

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The trial of a man accused of killing a Manhattan fashion designer began on Friday. The victim's boyfriend is accused of strangling the young woman, but his defense attorney said the evidence doesn't add up.

Sylvie Cachay's family has been replaying a never-ending nightmare for the past two years.

"It's terrible. I don't have words to say the tragedy we have had," Sylvia Cachay, the woman's mother, told CBS 2's Janelle Burrell on Friday.

Her parents faced Sylvie's accused killer, Nicholas Brooks, 26, in court on Friday as prosecutors detailed how he allegedly strangled and drowned the swimsuit designer at the exclusive SoHo House Hotel.

Cachay's body was found partially clothed and submerged in a bathtub in December 2010.

"I cannot even say how cruel this moment has been in my life," Sylvia said.

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

Trial Begins In Death Of Swimsuit Designer

Brooks is the son of the late Joseph Brooks, an accused serial rapist and Academy Award winning songwriter. Joseph Brooks took his own life two years ago.

Before her death, Cachay apparently threatened to cut off Nicholas if he didn't clean up his act. Prosecutors claim the ultimatum drove him to kill. Brooks' attorney disagrees.

"I think the evidence will support the opening," said defense attorney Jeffrey Hoffman.

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

Prosecutors told CBS 2 that Cachay was on medication for migraines and fibromyalgia, but that the drugs did not play a role in her death.

Cachay's father and brother both took the stand on Friday and testified about identifying her badly bruised body. Now, they are clinging to hope that something will ease their pain.

The trial is anticipated to last through the beginning of next month. The Cachays said they plan to be present for every day of the proceedings.

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