CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Prosecutors are turning the focus of Anthony Kirkland's murder trial to Esme Kenney this week, and they asked her mother to take the stand Monday morning.
Esme Kenney was 13 years-old when she was found murdered in Winton Hills a year ago.
Kenney's mother, Lisa, was the first to testify Monday morning.
She described her only child as precious and the baby of the family. At times, Lisa Kenney became emotional, causing breaks during her testimony.
She recalled running around the reservoir looking for Esme because she knew something was wrong when she never came home from her run.
"I stopped near the woods, looked, listened," said Lisa Kenney. "I found out later that was about 10 yards from where she was found."
Lisa identified the property that police found on Kirkland when he was arrested. The items were Esme's iPod, which was monogrammed "Property of Esme Kenney." Also found were headphones and a watch, both items belonging to Esme.
Other witnesses and investigators involved in Esme Kenney's investigation will give their testimony throughout the week.
The jury will also hear several hours of police interviews with Kirkland, in which he admits to the murders of Esme Kenney, Casonya Crawford, Mary Jo Newton and Kimya Rolison.
From there, the jury will have to decide if Kirkland should be considered for the death penalty. Their decision could come early next week.