The man and woman accused in the death of an RIT professor were in court for pre-trial hearings.
"It's very difficult. I don't think it'll ever stop being difficult."
The pretrial hearings for Jerrell Henry and Natalie Johnson on Wednesday were fairly routine, but that didn't stop Edline Chun's friends from showing up.
"Show support... to make sure she's not forgotten in any way, shape or form."
Henry is charged with first degree murder. Johnson faces second degree murder charges. Police say they robbed Edline Chun on Feb. 3rd, shot and killed her, and later dumped her body in Tryon Park, where she was found three days later.
Henry and Johnson were in court so Judge Francis Affronti could determine if police followed proper procedure when they interviewed the defendants. His decision will determine if those interviews will be allowed at the upcoming trial.
Police investigator Randy Benjamin testified when Henry was arrested he said: "I give up. Y'all got me." Benjamin said he then interviewed Henry for hours before Henry asked for an attorney. Most of that interview was videotaped.
Investigator Charlie LoFaso, who also took the stand, interviewed Natalie Johnson.
"Obviously, this hearing is still a preliminary hearing prior to trial. We're basically making sure police did everything by the book," said prosecutor Perry Duckles.
Investigators who testified also said several witnesses came forward with information in this case. They were shown photo arrays and were asked to identify pictures of Henry and Johnson. Defense attorneys take issue with some of those photographs.
"Mr. Henry's photograph is seriously and significantly darker than the other ones, sets it forth as opposed to the other photos. Our argument is if you look at the array, your attention is immediately drawn to that photo and that that's unduly suggestive," said James Vacca, Henry's attorney.
As the the case makes its way through court, Edline Chun's friends meanwhile are hoping to raise enough money to honor her at the Memorial Art Gallery. They've raised about $2,700.
"We wanted to do both a tree and bench so someone could sit under there and think about her or read a book, but that was going to be $10,000. If anyone knew her and loved her and even people who were shocked by the situation they way her life ended, to come forward, it would be amazing," said friend Victoria Visiko.
Defense attorneys expect that Henry and Johnson's cases will be separated. Judge Affronti is expected to rule on that and on the evidence in the coming weeks and months.
At least one case is still expected to start in mid-October.