Joanna Bird's mom due back on the stand

Joanna Bird's mother, sister and best friend testified yesterday, telling jurors Leonardo Valdez-Cruz had a long history of threatening the slain mother.

Valdez-Cruz is accused of fatally stabbing Bird last March. He is charged with first-degree murder. If convicted, Valdez-Cruz faces life in prison.

On the witness stand, Bird?s sister, Melissa Johnson, testified that Valdez-Cruz stalked, harassed and threatened Bird. Johnson also claimed she heard Valdez-Cruz on the phone with his sister saying he "had done it, it was over," after Bird's death.

Bird?s best friend, Latina Robinson, testified about an episode in February 2009 in which Valdez-Cruz allegedly went looking for Bird and when he couldn?t find her, he threatened to kill Bird if he found out she was leaving him.

Also in court yesterday, prosecutor Madeline Singas read letters Valdez-Cruz allegedly wrote to Bird in Sept. 2008. She read an excerpt that said when Valdez-Cruz thought about Bird being with another man, all he could think about was "killing, killing, and more killing."

Bird?s mother, Sharon Dorsett, was the third witness to testify yesterday. She is due back on the witness stand today.

Jury seating under way in Bird murder trialJoanna Bird murder suspect speaks to News 12Jury selection starts in Joanna Bird murder trialNassau PD sued over Joanna Bird's deathJoanna Bird's family suing Nassau policeJoanna Bird's family demands details of probe

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."