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Legal office of lawyers, justice and law concept : Wooden judge gavel or a wood hammer and a soundboard used by a judge person on a desk in a courtroom with a blurred brass scale of justice behind. lawsuit tile / Getty Images

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A trial has started for a Tennessee man accused of killing and attempting to rape his 12-year-old neighbor.

The Tennessean reports 46-year-old Roy Coons Jr. is accused of killing Yhoana Arteaga, whose body was found at her Goodlettsville home with a karate belt knotted around her neck. Yhoana's mother, Patricia Velazquez, testified Tuesday that her daughter stayed home from school on Aug. 10, 2017, to nurse a hurt ankle. They spent the morning together, but Velazquez worked that afternoon.

Hours later, Yhoana later texted her mother that someone was knocking at their door. Yhoana's mother said she arrived home and found her daughter dead.

Prosecutors say DNA evidence links Coons to the crime, but the defense says the DNA could've been left when Coons worked on the home.

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