Christina Morris' father takes stand in kidnapping trial

Day one of testimony in Arochi trial.

McKINNEY, Texas -- The first full day of testimony in the Christina Morris kidnapping trial started with Morris' father addressing the court.

Enrique Arochi, the man last seen with Christina Morris in the parking lot of the Shops at Legacy, was charged with aggravated kidnapping in the case. Her whereabouts have been unknown since Aug. 30, 2014.

Mark Morris answered questions from defense and prosecutors about his daughter, the time period when she went missing, and his efforts to find her for more than two years.

The state pressed people close to Christina about her fear of the dark. All who answered, including her father Mark Morris, said she would never walk in the dark alone.

"She liked to keep the light on," said Robertson.

One witness described Christina as "feisty" and said that she would never do anything she didn't want to do. Asked if she would put up a fight if during a struggle, two witnesses said Christina would.

Investigators say they found Morris' DNA in the trunk of Enrique Arochi's car. The state also asked witnesses if Morris would willingly get into the trunk of a car.

Mark Morris said she would not, saying, "she was claustrophobic."

The defense focused its questions to many witnesses on Hunter Foster, Christina's boyfriend at the time she disappeared.

Foster was scheduled to testify Thursday afternoon, but his attorney appeared on his behalf, saying he'd advised his client to exercise his fifth amendment to not incriminate himself.

Foster is not charged in Morris' disappearance, but is in federal custody on drug charges. The defense contends Foster was dealing drugs the night Morris went missing, something Foster's attorney said could incriminate his client in other cases.

Ultimately, the judge agreed with Foster's attorney that he had the right to not answer incriminating questions. Foster will stay at the county jail until the trial is over, in case an appeals court disagrees with the judge's decision or Foster changes his mind.

The defense suggested Foster was less than truthful to investigators and may have owed money to cartels, offering a possible motivation for someone else to harm Morris.

The prosecution contended Foster was in Dallas -- several miles away -- when Morris went missing in Plano. They wanted his testimony to establish he wasn't a viable alternate suspect.

The defense also spent considerable time questioning Christina's friends about Enrique Arochi's temperment that night. Defense attorney Keith Gore asked if there was anything out of the ordinary, unusual, or threatening about Arochi that night.

Two witnesses who were asked that question said there was no concern at all about Enrique Arochi after he and Christina Morris left the apartment Saturday night.

The trial will continue on Friday. The judge in the case said he expects the trial to last around 11 days, but that could change as testimony continues.

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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