Monaghan is charged with the murder on Oct. 26, 2002,of Lionel Violatt, a Swiss citizen living in San Francisco.
In opening statements Monday, the prosecution, assistant District Attorney Anna Gonzalez, charged that Monaghan threw Violatt overboard during a Halloween party cruise of the San Francisco Bay. The prosecution charges that the two men were involved in an argument when Violatt challenged Monaghan after he was in conversation with Violatt’s girlfriend, Viva Taylor, on deck. Gonzalez said in her that the prosecution will produce a witness, Nancy Sodo, who saw Monaghan throw Violatt overboard.
Defense attorney Ken Quigley, in his opening remarks, claimed his client acted in self-defense after he was attacked by Violatt, who was in a jealous rage because Monaghan and his girlfriend were having a conversation and a smoke together on deck.
Witnesses on the first day of trial included Petty Officer Johnson of the U.S. Coast Guard, who recovered Violatt’s body two weeks after he was lost overboard; Pam Carter, an investigator from the Marin County Coroner’s Office; Dr. Brian Peterson, a forensic pathologist, and two dental specialists, Dr. Toct from France, who through a translator identified Violatt from dental records, and Dr. Donald Frier, who worked with the Coroner and Toct on the identification process.
The trial continues Wednesday, June 4, and is expected to last several days, with additional witnesses scheduled to appear.