Trial begins in death of U.S. Navy commander in Orange Park

Opening statements begin Tuesday morning for the first trial connected to the death of a U.S. Navy commander.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — On Tuesday, a jury began hearing evidence against the man accused of killing a U.S. Navy commander in an Orange Park motel.

In 2014, Alphonso Doss was found dead in the Astoria Hotel in Orange Park. Action News Jax was in court as the opening statements centered on a love triangle.

Prosecutors said there were three people involved in Doss’ murder. They say Doss' estranged wife was the "mastermind" of this plot but Anthony Washington was the person who actually committed the murder.

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"They thought they had committed the perfect murder," said Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda.

The state attorney said Anthony Washington got into a fight with Doss and then choked him before stealing his breathing machine and leaving him to die on the floor of the hotel.

For hours, the defense showed hundreds of pictures to jurors to depict what they believe happened.

The state attorney says the victim's wife, Yolinda Doss, controlled all his money and was behind this sinister plot. They say she had help from her lover, Washington, and his business partner, Ronnie Wilson.

But the defense says this was an act of self-defense and Washington was trying to protect Mrs. Doss from her husband.

"There's Doss on the phone threatening that ‘I'm going to kill you,’ – excuse my language – ‘I'm going to kill you and that little bitch,' – his daughter," said defense attorney Janis Warren.

The defense wants the jurors to conclude that what Washington was doing when he entered that hotel room was self-defense.

“He not only acted in self-defense, but Doss’ death was just a tragic accident,” Warren said.

If the jury convicts Washington, he will be sentenced on first-degree premeditation murder and felony murder.

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