The trial of Nicholas Brooks, a songwriter's son who is charged with the 2010 murder of his swimsuit designer girlfriend in a New York City hotel room, is underway and friends of the woman say she wanted to break off the relationship shortly before her death.
Prosecutor Jordan Arnold said Brooks drowned and strangled Sylvie Cachay, 33, whose body was found partially submerged in an overflowing bathtub in the SoHo House in the early hours of Dec. 9, 2010.
Brooks, 24 at the time of his arrest, was sharing the room with Cachay the night of her death.
Later in December, the medical examiner ruled the death a homicide, and said Cachay had been drowned and strangled.
Brooks' lawyer, Jeffrey Hoffman, said authorities "rushed to judgment" by arresting his client in the high-profile killing. Brooks has pleaded not guilty.
On Tuesday, friends testified that shortly before Cachay died, she'd emailed and said that Brooks was bringing her down. Cachay referred to Brooks as a "man boy," according to friends.
Friends told jurors Cachay learned that Brooks was hiring prostitutes while they were dating. That's when Cachay, according to friends, decided to break off the relationship. Prosecutors said that decision cost Cachay her life.
"The couple had been dating for about two months, and one friend said it was a really tumultuous relationship," said Vanity Fair editor Chris Rovzar.
Brooks' lawyer said Cachay took too many prescription pills that night and passed out in the tub. The defense also offered an email Cachay sent to Brooks some hours before she died, affectionately inviting Brooks over.
Also presented as evidence by the prosecution was a five-page to-do list written by Cachay for Brooks. Cachay issued certain demands such as "get a job," take me on dates," "no random drinking or drug use," and "If you can't do all these things, then this likely won't work," she wrote.
Prosecutors have painted Brooks as an unemployed, drug-using slacker who was using his older girlfriend.
Brooks is the son of Oscar-winning composer Joseph Brooks, who was best known for writing the Grammy-winning ballad "You Light Up My Life."
Cachay designed for Tommy Hilfiger and Victoria's Secret before breaking out to start her own fashion line of swimsuits, called Syla.
Brooks and Cachey checked into the star-studded hotel after a small fire occurred in her downtown apartment.
Prosecutors alleged on the night of the murder that a hotel employee heard arguing soon after the couple checked in.
Brooks claims to have left the room to have drinks with people he'd met at the hotel and returned later to find police already in his room. Police first were called to the scene at about 3 a.m. after a hotel guest noticed water leaking into a room below Cachay's.
But Cachay's father, Dr. Antonio Cachay, and her brother, Patrick Orlando, both testified Sylvie only took showers, not baths.
Overnight the Cachay family issued a statement to ABC News, saying, "We are determined to see that not only is justice done, but that Sylvie's spirit and passion for live on forever."
- Family & Relationships