A woman took the stand Tuesday to tell a jury that when she found her sister’s body in a pool of blood in March 2015, she screamed.

Robert Swanton, 32, is facing life in prison after police say he stabbed Melissa Hansen to death on March 7, 2015, in her apartment on on Erie Street. His trial got underway Tuesday.

According to the criminal complaint against him, Hansen’s mother and sister went to her apartment on March 8 when they couldn’t get her on the phone.

During a search of her apartment for evidence, police found a bloody knife and clothes with both Hansen’s blood and Swanton’s DNA the complaint reads. Swanton and Hansen were reportedly friends, but there was a message on Hansen’s cell phone from Swanton that read, “If you don’t answer the phone, I’m going to come looking for you.”

Swanton’s defense attorney stated during opening statements that his client would testify under oath that he killed Hansen in self defense, a story in The Journal Times reads.

“He’ll say on the stand that he perceived the victim … at some point was in league with people outside, and the people outside told him to kill her,” Attorney Michael Plaisted is quoted as saying.

Prosecutors tell a different story, though, the newspaper report continues, and say Swanton feared Hansen was setting him up so he killed her.

“He admitted to stabbing her,” Assistant District Attorney Dirk Jensen told the jury. “He believed she was trying to set him up.”

Swanton was found lying in the street at Marquette and Thunderbird drive at 2:51 a.m. March 7, which investigators believe was just after Hansen’s death, the complaint reads. Wearing a t-shirt and no coat, Swanton was “cold to the touch and very wet.” Rescue staff from the Racine Fire Department took Swanton to the emergency room, but he wasn’t responsive to their questions.

He was not taken into custody until April 10 when results from the state crime lab confirmed his DNA on a number of items.

The trial continues Wednesday. Swanton remains in the Racine County Jail on a $500,000 cash bond.

Advertising disclosure
To support our site and content, we work with partners to present valuable offers to help you save, earn, and get ahead. We may be compensated for the purchase of goods and services made through the links in this offer program.
Offers for you
Curated offers for our readers
advertiser disclosure
CodeMonkey
Coding for kids! Introducing programming games for the next generation. Get your kids coding today.
Start with a free trial.
Start with a free trial.

Get your students coding in no time!

CodeMonkey is a fun and educational game-based environment where kids learn to code without any prior experience. After completing CodeMonkey's award-winning coding courses, kids will be able to navigate through the programming world with a sense of confidence and accomplishment.

Kids will love learning to code with CodeMonkey

  • Ready to Go Courses. With CodeMonkey’s teacher kit and support team, anyone can teach the basics of computer science.
  • Real Coding Languages. CodeMonkey's courses teach text-based coding so students learn to program like a real developer.
  • Game-Based Learning. Kids learn coding in an engaging and rewarding environment that utilizes gaming elements.

Free Trial - Enjoy a full-blown gaming experience that will teach your kids to code!


One reply on “Swanton Murder Trial Underway Tuesday”