Cousin testifies: Nachtman was afraid of her mother

Fearing her mother’s wrath, murder defendant Nicole Nachtman turned to her cousin David Lehr
For some quick cash.

"She said she needed the money and I gave it to her," said Lehr.

Prosecutors say the former FSU student missed her deadline for housing on campus and had to come up with $100 to pay for late fees. Lehr says Nachtman was too afraid to ask her mother for the money. 

“I could tell she didn't want to tell her mom stuff, like every other kid," said Lehr.

Prosecutor John Terry says Nicole Nachtman was so afraid to tell her mother about failing to get housing, it was a motive for murder.

"And this, ladies and gentleman, this is the spot where her plan takes shape," said Terry.

Nachtman is accused of killing her mother and stepfather, Myriam and Robert Dienes.

Prosecutors said she left the FSU campus and drove home to Carrollwood. They said killed her stepdad first; she waited until her mother got home the next day and killed her in the driveway.

That's when neighbors called 911.

Prosecutors said Nachtman then drove back to FSU and met her new roommate, Mariel Battle. Battle said Nicole suddenly gave her the bad news about her mother.

"She said to me that her mom was in a car accident of some sort," said Battle.

Mariel says Nicole asked her to lie.

"She had said she wanted me to say that she moved in the day before," said Battle. 

Hillsborough County public defender Julie Holt said Nachtman's actions were a result of a psychotic break - inflicted upon a young woman who has suffered years of mental abuse at the hands of her mother.

"Her delusion was that her mother was going to kill her based on her past experiences and the psychotic breaks that are starting to happen," said Holt.

The trial continues next week.