Stuart Jury Listens to Opening Statements in Murder Trial - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Stuart Jury Listens to Opening Statements in Murder Trial

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PASCO, Wash.- The Franklin County prosecutor calls it premeditated murder. The defense team calls it a "serotonin storm."  Tashia Stuart calls it self-defense. 

In opening statements Wednesday morning, prosecutor Shawn Sant told jurors that Stuart, 40, planned to murder her mother long before March 3, 2011.

"If she's concerned for her safety that her mother is going to harm her, she could have told dispatch. She could have called the neighbors that called 911. She could have told the officer who showed up at the door at the scene."

Stuart's lawyer, Bob Thompson, told jurors Stuart's mother was out of touch with reality because of her abuse of drugs to treat depression, as well as alcohol and marijuana.   

"Judy Herbert had over medicated herself in ways that nobody could contemplate or understand at the time these events were occurring."

The prosecutor says the evidence he'll present over the next seven days will show Stuart killed her mother to collect an inheritance.

The defense team says Stuart will testify.

The trial is scheduled to last through the month.