Motorcycle helmet led investigators closer to Sierah Joughin's alleged killer

Published: Mar. 12, 2018 at 6:25 PM EDT
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A bloody motorcycle helmet was one of the pieces of evidence leading investigators close to the man accused of Killing Sierah Joughin. The Fulton County woman disappeared in the summer of 2016. Her body was found days later in a cornfield.

Monday morning jurors started hearing testimony in the case against James Worley.

In their opening statements, prosecutors said Worley had to kill the UT student because after Joughin was kidnapped, they believe Worley had to cover his tracks. Prosecutors believe there was too much evidence left inside his barn linking him to her disappearance and that's why they believe she was killed.

In opening statements, prosecutors said today that Joughin's DNA was found on rope, duct tape and paper towels inside a barn at Worley's home.

Prosecutors allege that Worley kidnapped Joughin off her bike on county road 6. Prosecutors say blood found in those fields match Joughin's and Worley's DNA can be found on the bike.

Worley said in recorded police interviews at he was at the scene, his motorcycle had broken down. He spotted a bicycle, Picked it up, debated riding it home but instead decided to try to motorcycle. He says he eventually got it working long enough to get home.

But prosecutors say Worley was really attacking Joughin at the time. She had blunt force trauma to the head, consistent with being hit with a bike helmet. Police recovered the helmet and confronted Worley a few days later.

Here’s part of that recorded conversation:

Investigator: "Let's talk to him about the helmet."

Worley: "What about the helmet? You found the helmet?"

Investigators: "Yes"

Worley: "OK, where's the helmet at? Who has it?"

Investigator: " .... along the road"

Worley: "You found it along the road?"

Investigator: "I didn't find it, someone did."

Worley: "Well bring it on here because I want my helmet back."

Investigator: "Well that's why we're here mostly is because the helmet looks like it might have some blood on it."

Worley: "Uh, No. "

Some of Sierah's family members and friends were called to the stand Monday.

Josh Kolasinski, the boyfriend of Sierah Joughin, cried on the stand as he testified to the last time he saw the UT student. He recorded a snapchat video of their ride. He told the court she was riding her bike and he was riding his motorcycle next to her as he followed her home.

"We we're at a corner gave her a kiss and said goodbye," said Kolasinski.

Worley is accused of hog tying Joughin and burying her in a cornfield.