Day 2 of Columbus murder trial

By Laura Ann Sills - email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The murder trial of Diana Branchfield continued today in a Columbus courtroom.  She is charged in the murder of truck driver John Belfance.

The day started with the jurors watching a videotaped police interview of Branchfield.  In the interview Branchfield affirms that she set up the robbery that lead to the truck driver's death.

More witnesses testified for the state.

One of the key witnesses was Branchfield's cell mate, Stephanie Geter. Geter says Branchfield admitted to setting up the robbery that let to Belfance's death and then got a cut of the money. "Yeah, she said she met them up at the Days Inn and they broke her off and they gave her her half and she went on about her business."  Geter also testified that she believes Branchfield didn't mean for anyone to get hurt, but that it was just "a robbery gone bad."

The defense believes that Geter and some of the State's other witnesses were not credible.

Branchfield admitted to knowing the victim from what she refers to as sexual acts. Defense lawyer Nancy Miller asked the jurors to remember that Branchfield's life as a prostitute does not prove guilt.  "She may not have lived the life of a sanitized healthy person, her life is risky, her life is to a lot of people going to be objectionable, but that doesn't make her a murderer. And, doesn't give any cause to convict her," says Miller.

Assistant DA, Sadhana Dailey, said, "He would still be alive if she hadn't set this thing up, if she hadn't put it in motion, he would be alive today and he had a family who loved him."

The victim's son has been present in court both days of the trial.

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