Two New Witnesses take the Stand during the Preston Strong Trial

Two New Witnesses take the Stand during the Preston Strong Trial


YUMA, AZ -Thursday was day 32 of the Preston Strong trial, the defense started off court proceedings with Xochitl Benavides a former co-worker of Preston Strong at Alexander Toyota in Yuma.

Xochitl Benavides was brought in to testify that she both knew and worked with Preston Strong and when she had last seen him. Benavides first testified she had seen him the night of November 1, 2007 between 5 and 5:30 just outside Alexander Toyota.

However, after being questioned by the prosecution and given the opportunity to listen to a previous recording of her being interviewed by detectives her testimony changed. She says "I was just guessing a time." The prosecution than said "Ok so your testimony is that you were guessing about the last time you saw Preston Strong on November 1, 2007. It's a guess, you're guessing he was there between 5 and 5:30." To which she replied, yes. Benavides testified to the prosecution she could be mistaking October 31st for November 1, but clarified she saw him sometime between 2 and 8 p.m. She also testified to the defense she could be confused as to what Preston Strong was wearing on November 1, 2007.

Next on the stand was John Witham, a Research and Development expert from Candle Lite, a candle company based in Ohio. Witham's expertise became necessary to the defense after two candles were found lit inside Dr. Satinder Gills home while the gas stove was left on.

Witham observed the candles in person for the first time Thursday morning and observed various factors about each candle and their burn rate. Witham said "we saw evidence of one wick and partial of another wick we did not know if it's the same wick or another." The defense rigorously used Witham's knowledge on candles and various scenarios as to how a candle is burned.

The Preston strong trial will continue next week.

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