Byron Waring confessed to the slaying of 22-year-old Lauren Redman shortly after his arrest in 2005, according to warrants. A neighbor found Redman outside of her apartment near North Carolina State University on Nov. 8, 2005.
"She said she'd just been attacked. She said she'd been raped," neighbor Andrew Pipkin said. "She really had difficulty communicating. She couldn't really tell me much at all."
Redman, who had been an N.C. State student and was a graduate of East Wake High School, had been raped and stabbed more than 20 times, police said.
Members of her family were visibly upset in the courtroom Monday as they listened to details of her death.
Waring and another suspect, Joseph Sanderlin, went to Redman's apartment to collect money she allegedly owed to George Sasser, her former roommate, according to warrants. In a taped confession to police, Waring said Sanderlin raped Redman, and they both stabbed her.
Sanderlin also is charged with murder in the case, while Sasser is charged as an accessory after the fact.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in the case, characterizing Redman's slaying as a brutal crime.
Meanwhile, defense attorneys said they hope to spare Waring's life by convincing jurors his troubled childhood that led up to the crime.
Opening statements were delayed Monday because an alternate juror had to be taken off of the case due to a scheduling conflict.