Salerno Trial Begins

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A trial began Monday morning for an Ohio man accused of murdering his wife, who was a student at Michigan State University.

Dennis Salerno is charged with strangling Michelle Salerno in June or July of 2000 and dumping her body in a landfill at Bowling Green State University.

Michelle Salerno's mother testified this morning in a Lansing courtroom.

She said Michelle was fearful of Dennis and that the two had a tumultuous marriage after eloping in 1997.

Prosecutor Sam Smith said Dennis Salerno's fingerprints were found on Michelle Salerno's car, which was found in Ohio.

A letter she wrote attempting to get a restraining order against Dennis Salerno also was found in his possession.

Defense attorney David Merchant said the couple did have problems. But he insisted there is no evidence tying Dennis Salerno to Michelle Salerno's death.

Dennis Salerno is already serving time in an Ohio prison for the murder of a man whose body was found at a truck stop in July of 2000.

Dennis Salerno maintains that man, Larry McClanahan, killed Michelle Salerno.