The murder trial of Osa Alohaneke, a Nigerian accused of stabbing his fiancé to death in 2015 has opened in a Fort Bend County Courtroom in Houston, United States.
Alohaneke, 59, was living in an area of southwest Houston with his fiancé, 52-year-old Cameroon-native Evelyne Ebane Epiepang, when he allegedly attacked her and her friend, Veronica Taku, with a kitchen knife.
Taku survived. Epiepang was dead when investigators arrived.
On Thursday, Jan. 10, Taku testified how Alohaneke stalked his fiancé and threatened to kill her repeatedly in the hours leading up to the murder.
Taku said Epiepang was afraid to go home. After calling police for help, Taku said she and Epiepang waited in a park for more than an hour before returning to the house to gather some clothing. Taku said Alohaneke ambushed them at the door and pushed his way inside the house.
“I turned to him and asked ‘What is happening between you and Evelyne?'” Taku testified.
“Osa looked and me and said ‘Do you really want to know?’ and then he pulled out a knife.”
Taku said she was screaming for help as Alohaneke stabbed her twice in the face and once on her arm before he turned his attention to his fiancé.
Taku testified she screamed for help through a bedroom window and watched in terror as Alohaneke chased his fiancé, tripped her and then pounced on her with the knife, stabbing her over and over until she was no longer moving.
“When Evelyne grew quiet, Osa laid down next to her. I thought he was dead too because he turned completely white, his clothes, his skin, white like a corpse, and then I passed out,” Taku testified.
Jurors listened to a recording of a 911 call about two hours before the murder wherein Epiepang told police Alohaneke had threatened to kill her over and over and she wanted him to leave her house.
A second 911 recording was played and jurors listen as a 911 operator answers and loud screams echo repeatedly in the courtroom as Epiepang is fighting for her life.
Several jurors appeared shaken by the recording and turn their eyes to Alohaneke, who quietly wipes away tears.
According to documents filed by prosecutors, Alohaneke had a prior arrest record.
He was arrested on assault charges by police in Plainfield, N.J. on Jan. 18, 2004 and again in 2010 on assault charges by police in Morristown, N.J. Most recently, he was arrested by Houston Police on prostitution charges after he allegedly offered an undercover agent money for sex in December of 2014.
Those charges were still pending when Alohaneke was arrested for his fiancé’s murder on April 8, 2015.
Alohaneke has been held at the Fort Bend County Jail for over two years awaiting trial under a detainer placed by U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.
In addition to first-degree felony murder charges, Alohaneke is also facing felony charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Then trial continues Tuesday, Jan. 16, in Fort Bend County 400th District Court.
*Reported by Houston Chronicle