TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - In opening statements Wednesday afternoon, prosecutors say defendant Nicole Nachtman is a cold-blooded killer who set a deadly trap for her mother and stepfather.
The former Florida State University student is accused of killing her parents, Myrian and Robert Dienes in August 2015.
Lead prosecutor John Terry says the former FSU student left campus and drove home to Carrollwood.
They say she killed her stepdad first, and then waited until her mother came home the next day and gunned her down in the driveway
Terry says Nachtman's motive for the murders had to do with missing a deadline to get housing at FSU and she was so afraid to tell her mother, she set her deadly plan in motion.
"Nicole Nachtman decided rather than dealing with a strict, demanding mom [who] she felt she could not please, she decided to eliminate her from her life by putting three bullets into her mom," said Terry.
But Hillsborough County public defender Julie Holt says Nicole Nachtman is a broken person from years of abuse starting when she was a child. Holt says she suffers from battered child syndrome and that drove her to a psychotic break that eventually lead to murder.
"The reality is the relationship between Myriam Dietes seriously interplayed with Nicole's development of mental health deterioration to her psychotic break into this courtroom," said Holt.
Holt asked the jury to find Nachtman not guilty by reason of insanity.
The trial is expected to last two weeks.