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Opening statements concluded in Chase trial
Canandaigua, N.Y.-- Opening statements wrapped Tuesday afternoon in the trial of the Ontario County woman accused of dismembering her husband's decomposing body and trying to burn it.
Rose Chase is charged with second-degree murder in the death of her husband Adam Chase. Police said she pushed him down the basement stairs during an argument at their home in Stanley in June 2012. He died from the fall.
Prosecutors said she hid his body in the basement then moved it to her mother's property in neighboring Yates County, where she burned the remains. They were discovered in December 2012.
Over the next few weeks, jurors will hear from family and friends of Adam Chase, police and forensic experts.
In opening statements Tuesday, the defense attorney portrayed Rose Chase as a person, a mother and daughter, a part of the community. She asked the jury to not look at her as simply a "defendant."
The prosecution laid out their case calling seven witnesses to the stand really focusing on events leading up to the disappearance and death of adam chase.
The first two witnesses called were Adam Chase's mom, Silvia Chase and Adam's sister's best friend, Rebecca Grube.
Grube says she saw Rose Chase in Kershaw Park with another man and sent that photo to adam's mother who then asked Rose about it.
Rose denied that anything was going on.
Rose said the man in the picture was gay and asked Silvia to delete the photo.
That is what the prosecution says fueled the argument between rose and adam chase - questions of Rose's infidelity.
at that time - during the couple's argument another detail is revealed which rose admits to police as a possible motive during interrogations.
Rose told Adam that Trysten wasn't his son.
"What I was afraid of if Adam didn't perish on that stairwell was that the truth about Trysetn's DNA was going to come out, it came out anyway but the first thing that was going through my head was OK, if Adam died, I wanted to keep Trysten in a loving family as long as I could his parents were great, Rose told investigators.
She talked about seeing rose every night for dinner even while her son was missing.
Silvia said she asked Rose to get Adam's phone in hopes of seeing who he'd been in contact with recently.
But Rose came back empty handed, she claimed her husband must have returned home and taken his phone and computer but left a note that read, "we need to talk."
Something else that struck the family as odd, a text message Adam's parents received one night.
It was odd because they say Adam rarely texts them, they always talk on the phone.
Rose eventually admits to police she sent those texts from adam's phone.
The jury also heard from Kathryn Chapman, the human resources director at Crossman, where Rose Chase worked.
Chapman testified that Rose wasn't at work on June 14th and 15th of 2012, around the time Adam disappeared.
When Chapman found out about Rose's husband, she offered help but says Rose refused it and appeared to be calm.
A manager at Conserve, where Adam Chase worked testified that Adam was also not at work on June 14 and 15.
Lt. Brad Falkey and investigator Bill Wellman, both with the Ontario County Sheriff's Office testified.
Lt. Falkey mentioned Rose initiating a meeting with him to address concerns she had about a radio show bad mouthing Rose and her mother.
Falkey said eventually Rose asks what he thinks happened to her husband.
Falkey said, "I told her I believed Adam was dead, that he harmed himself just to get her reaction."
Wellman explained to the jury being called to Rose's house in August because Adam's family members were outside her house protesting.
Wellman told the jury that he searched Rose's house, including the basement.
He said he noticed a foul odor but attributed that to the dead bats and the dampness in the basement.
He described the basement having a dirty floor.
The jury will hear the two hour interrogation between Rose and investigators during the trial.
The trial continues Wednesday morning at 9.
Last month, Chase rejected a proposed deal, in which she would have served 20 years to life in prison in exchange for a guilty plea to all charges.