(Memphis) Monday, a murder trial begins in a case that has gripped the Mid-South and received national attention.
It’s the case of Joseph Caronna, a man charged with killing his wife, Tina, back in 2008.
Tina disappeared October 25, then two days later her body was found in the couple’s Chevrolet Avalanche in Bartlett.
The medical examiner determined she died of asphyxiation.
State prosecutors say Caronna killed her after rolling-up large gambling debts and committing financial fraud.
Caronna has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
“Everybody loved her. She was a terrific person,” said Joe Dyer, the president of Corvette Memphis, Inc.
Dyer is talking about Tina, the woman whose bright smile was wiped out by a gruesome murder in 2008.
Police believe her husband is the killer.
Joseph Caronna is about to go on trial for the crime.
He’s accused of wrapping Tina’s hands and mouth in duct tape and leaving her body inside one of their cars in Bartlett
“Both Joe and Tina were members of the club,” he said.
Dyer says Tina had just been elected president of the Corvette Club days before she was murdered.
He says that club members are still split about whether her husband is guilty.
“Of course, when it first happened it was an immense shock,” he said.
He says, in the club, Tina was always the likable one and Joseph was more in the background.
But federal investigators say he did have a love of cars. Caronna, a Cordova insurance agent, is accused of swindling his clients out of more than $800,000 to pay for his car collection.
As for the accusations, Dyer says he wants to let the courts decide whether Caronna is guilty.
In the end, he wants the truth to come out for Tina, “Everyone in the club certainly wants to see someone brought to justice for it.”
Caronna’s murder trial begins on Monday and then on Thursday he has to appear in federal court.
That’s because he’s facing 63 counts of mail fraud, insurance fraud, embezzlement and money laundering.