Trial for Rock County man accused of stabbing woman to death enters second day, evidence presented

The trial for Julian Collazo, the Rock County man accused of stabbing a woman to death in December 2017, has entered its second day.

Collazo, 21, is accused of killing 43-year-old Christine Scaccia-Lubeck and then fleeing to Missouri before getting caught in December 2017.

Police said Nicole Kazar, also of Rock County, was with Collazo on that day.

Witnesses are now testifying before a jury to determine what Kazar’s role was, if any, in the stabbing death.

On Tuesday, Cape Girardeau police Officer Brett Hellmann was called to testify. After Collazo and Kazar were stopped and arrested in Missouri, Hellmann was responsible for going through evidence.

Hellmann was asked to display a pair of men’s basketball shoes, which at the time of the arrest, were allegedly splattered with blood. He was also asked to provide further details about the way evidence was handled following the arrests.

Another person who took the stand Tuesday morning was Derek Renshaw, who alleges that Collazo confessed while in a holding cell on the night he was arrested. Renshaw said Collazo told him and others he was the person who killed Scaccia-Lubeck.

Both prosecutors and defense attorneys also questioned Stephen Kirichkow, who was allegedly with Collazo and Kazar after the murder. The details of what happened that night are unclear, and conflict across several accounts.

Following a short recess, the court called Dr. Vincent Tranchida to the stand. Tranchida is the chief medical examiner for Rock County, as well as for several other counties in southern Wisconsin.

Tranchida detailed an autopsy report that was completed shortly after the stabbing death. Both prosecutors and defense attorneys asked several questions related to the types of wounds Scaccia-Lubeck suffered. He concluded that she had been stabbed 32 times.

Detective Thomas Bechen was also called to testify. He provided details of the Janesville Police Department’s initial investigation into the crime.

The trial is set to continue Wednesday morning.

Get your weather forecast from people who actually live in your community. We update with short, easy-to-use video forecasts you can watch on your phone every day. Download the iOS or Android app here.