An Erie man was back in court today after being accused of brutally killing a 27-year-old woman back in June.
Thirty-one-year-old James Duncan is accused of stabbing Nikkia Sawyer over 60 times in her High Point Towers apartment.
Today Duncan's lawyers were looking to dismiss some of the aggravating circumstances, such as kidnapping, burglary, attempted rape and torture. Judge Daniel Brabender agreed with the Commonwealth, denying their motion.
Brabender explained there was some evidence, such as bodily fluid, that was presented that shows there could have been attempted rape. Judge Brabender also told the court that the killer, whether it was Duncan or not, was not just satisfied with killing Sawyer he or she had to torture her as well.
And that was clear when forensic pathologist Eric Vey took the stand saying Sawyer was bound and gagged with no way to escape.
A trial will be set for July.