Prosecutors: Nicole Laube murder suspect was looking for someone - KPTV - FOX 12

Prosecutors: Nicole Laube murder suspect was looking for someone to kill

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Jaime Tinoco-Camarena in court Tuesday. (KPTV) Jaime Tinoco-Camarena in court Tuesday. (KPTV)
Nicole Laube (KPTV/Family photo) Nicole Laube (KPTV/Family photo)

Prosecutors and defense attorneys painted very different descriptions of a man on trial for the 2014 death of a local mother during opening statements Tuesday.

Prosecutors showed videos they claimed to feature the suspect Jaime Tinoco-Camarena not only confessing to the murder but talking about how he enjoyed killing 29-year-old Nicole Laube.

Tinoco-Camarena’s defense attorneys countered that then then-17-year-old was coerced into giving a false confession.

Laube was a mother of four children who was violently stabbed in a knife attack at the Cedar Mill apartment complex where she worked, and her death investigation stunned and horrified the community.

Prosecutors said investigations eventually led them to Tinoco-Camarena, who they claimed left his Washington County home looking for someone to rape and kill and targeted a nearby stranger, Laube, at her job.

“She was stabbed in the heart. She was murdered. She was murdered by this man right over here,” prosecutor Jeff MacLean said in court Monday.

As police initially searched for her killer, prosecutors said Tinoco-Camarena raped a woman in Eugene a month later while attending a football game under the supervision of the Washington County Juvenile Department.

Shortly after that incident, investigators said they connected Tinoco-Camarena to both cases when he admitted to killing Laube in that taped confession.

Tinoco-Camarena pleaded guilty to charges of first-degree rape, first-degree sex abuse, first-degree kidnapping and second-degree assault in the Eugene case.

Prosecutors showed video in court Tuesday in which Tinoco-Camarena is asked by a detective in an interview how he felt while stabbing Laube, to which he responded, ”It felt nice....power.”

In their statement, defense attorneys told the jury Tinoco-Camarena is innocent and was pressured by officers they claim lied to the then-teen about evidence over the course of several taxing interviews, eventually getting a false confession from a young man who they described as “mentally ill.”

“They say that somehow that 17-year-old mentally ill kid managed to pull off the forensically perfect murder," defense attorney Scott Sharp said. "The evidence will show that’s not the case and that Jaime Tinoco didn’t try to rape Nicole Laube and that Jaime Tinoco did not stab Nicole Laube.”

Sharp continued by saying that the prosecution’s case is entirely wrapped around that coerced confession, pointing out that there was no physical evidence linking Tinoco-Camarena to the crime and also contended that another man who Laube knew confessed to the murder.

During the afternoon session, jurors heard from witnesses Robert and Hailey Ogle, a couple that lived at the complex and said they heard Laube's screams the day she was killed. The couple tried to help her, but there was nothing they could do to save Laube.

"She said, "He stabbed me, he stabbed me,'" Robert Ogle said.

“I literally was rubbing Nicole's back saying, 'Everything is going to be okay,'” Hailey Ogle added.

Ahead of opening statements, Laube’s husband Chris Laube told FOX 12 about getting to this day, noting how much he appreciated the support of the community.

“You know, I think that she’d be happy with the support she has received from the community,” Laube said. “It’s amazing how many people that you find that are behind her or that have supported her that you meet that she affected something in their lives.”

After three years of heartache, investigations and trials, Chris Laube said he hopes when the trial is all over he’ll feel closure and that he and family members will be able to move on celebrating his wife's life.

“I think you just kind of get numb to a lot of different things as time goes on. It’ll be hard I think as the day starts, I think there will be emotions," he said. “I don’t think we had that chance yet to deal with the grieving because it’s the constant there.”

The trial was originally slated to start three months ago before it was pushed back after a judge ruled that the defense must get more time to review 300 pages of evidence that was turned over by investigators at the last minute.

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