Witness testifies about abusive relationship in murder trial

James David Clarke charged with murder

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas - A man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend began facing trial on a murder charge on Monday.

James David Clarke, 32, has been charged with murdering Amber Elkins, 20. She was last seen alive on July 24, 2011, and her body was found in a wooded area on July 31, 2011.

"It was dumped in an isolated area," Texas EquuSearch founder Tim Miller said.

Elkins had been shot in the head, detectives said.

Harris County sheriff's deputies said they found a significant amount of blood was inside Elkins' vehicle, which was found several days before her body was discovered, and the front passenger window was broken.

On Monday, the business owner who found Elkins' SUV testified before the jury.

Defense attorneys claimed that there was no evidence tying Clarke to the SUV, pointing out that the business owner did not see Clarke near the vehicle.

Prosecutors also called a witness who said he gave Elkins money and tried to help her get a job. He testified that he was trying to help Elkins end an abusive relationship with Clarke.

Elkins' family was in court and said they want justice.

"She's my baby sister," said Ashley Davis. "I had to be here for her. It's overwhelming. It's like everything hits you again at once."

Elkins left behind a then 9-month-old daughter.

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