Andrea Urban's throat was slashed. She was beaten to death, and her home was burglarized, authorities have said.
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After selecting a jury with six women and three minority men, DuPage County Judge Brian Telander heard opening statements and the first witness testimony in Dominic Sanders' trial. Sanders is charged with first-degree murder in connection with Urban's death.
Urban's family, including the 51-year-old's mother, winced when horrific crime scene photos were shown of the actress and marijuana advocate sprawled on her Hinsdale kitchen floor. She appeared to be in a pool of blood, which prosecutors said resulted from Sanders' attack on May 4, 2017.
The University Park man was arrested three weeks after the murder, as police pieced together his movements from area surveillance cameras.
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Both DuPage County prosecutors and the public defender's office, which is representing Sanders, declined to comment. Urban's family also did not comment.
Her son Alexander testified Wednesday that he found his mother and called 911. He met Hinsdale Officer Ryan Grahn, who was the first police officer on the scene.
Sanders has been held without bail in DuPage County jail since late May 2017, when police arrested him at a cousin's south suburban home.
Pretrial hearings have suggested this was a random robbery or home invasion that ended in a homicide. Sanders has denied killing Urban, but admitted to stealing a ring from her house that day, authorities said.
The trial is expected to take a week.