2 jurors dismissed from trial of man accused in death of Bonita Springs woman

Published: July 15, 2021 3:11 PM EDT
Updated: July 15, 2021 6:47 PM EDT

The second day of the trial of a man accused in the death of a Bonita Springs woman began with the dismissal of two jurors.

The judge said one of the jurors was dismissed because when the state published autopsy photos in the courtroom, she was visibly upset.

Jurors are listening to the state as they describe the events that led to 34-year-old Sarah Nicholson being beaten and stabbed in her Squire Lane home in 2017.

Sarah Nicholson (Credit: SWFL Crime Stoppers)

On trial is Cristian Dilan, 23, who is accused of robbing the woman with two other men. A second man, Raymond Gomez, is facing similar charges in Nicholson’s death. A third man, Davaughn Oquendo, is suspected of Nicholson’s death. He has not been arrested by authorities. Prior questions to the state attorney’s office about an arrest have gone unanswered.

A suspect lit a fire that burned Nicholson’s home after she was beaten.

Dilan told investigators that he went to Nicholson’s home to rob her but that someone else stabbed her and set her home on fire.

Jurors also heard from Dilan’s cousin who was gifted one of the Louis Vuitton purses stolen from Nicholson and a witness who took a plea deal that would keep him out of prison for life in exchange for testifying during Dilan’s trial.

The judge ordered that the witness not be named for his safety.

The man said he sold drugs to Dilan and Dilan paid with bloody money. Dilan told him about the robbery that turned into a homicide.

According to testimony, Dilan sold the man an AR-15 that was used to beat Nicholson.

The man also testified that he helped Dilan dispose of the Mercedes stolen from Nicholson’s home.

The defense has maintained that Dilan was not the one who beat Nicholson, but the witness said Dilan told him he hit Nicholson himself.

Alisia Ramirez, a woman who used to date Gomez, told jurors Dilan also confessed to her.

“He told me that they burned her and they beat her and he knocked on the door and said he was lost and he needed a phone and when she went to turn around, Oquendo went through the back sliding doors,” Ramirez said. “She said his name. Since she said his name and knew who it was, that she could tell who it was, they killed her.”

Testimony continues Friday.