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Cory Vankeuren goes on trial in killing of Audrey Giannotti in Laureldale home

By 69 News, (follow: @69news), news@wfmz.com
Published On: Oct 09 2012 10:35:10 AM CDT
Updated On: Oct 09 2012 05:14:14 PM CDT

The trial is under way for a man accused of killing a Berks County woman as she slept with her two young children.

READING, Pa. -

The trial is under way for a man accused of killing a Berks County woman as she slept with her two young children.

Attorneys presented their opening statements Tuesday morning in the first- and third-degree murder trial of Cory Vankeuren. The case is being heard by a judge instead of a jury.

Vankeuren, 37, stands accused of shooting Audrey Giannotti to death inside the home she shared with her aunt and uncle on Earl Street in Laureldale on Jan. 13, 2007.

The case grew cold for more than four years until investigators said they could determine that Vankeuren's gun was used to kill Giannotti. Vankeuren was arrested on Mar. 15, 2011 as he left his sister's home in Emmaus, Lehigh Co., where he was living, police said.

A possible motive for the homicide was a romantic interest Vankeuren had in Giannotti, 20, said District Attorney John Adams. While Vankeuren was living in Maxatawny Township, near Kutztown, at the time of the killing, investigators said he would occasionally stay at the home of Giannotti's aunt and uncle as their guest.

Vankeuren has been held in the Berks County Jail without bail since his arrest.