COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The prosecution delivered its opening statements Wednesday morning in the murder trial of Michael Whyte, who is accused of killing a 20-year-old Fort Carson soldier in 1987.

Darlene Krashoc’s body was found behind the Korean Club restaurant on South Academy Blvd. on March 17, 1987. The prosecution said Krashoc was brutally beaten, raped, sodomized, tortured and strangled with a clothes-hanger.

Whyte was never named as a suspect or even a witness but in 2019 his DNA was matched to DNA found at the crime scene and he was arrested on a first-degree murder charge. He was living in Thornton at the time. He has plead not-guilty.

The first witness called to the stand was Betty Krashoc, Darlene’s mother. She said Darlene joined the army right after graduating high school in 1984 and was a mechanic stationed at Fort Carson. Betty said Darlene enjoyed what she did and wanted to reenlist and go airborne.

The second witness was a transcript from Richard Lans, a former Colorado Springs Police Officer who was previously interviewed but had passed away before this trial. According to the transcript, he was one of the officers who discovered Darlene’s body. He said she was partially clothed, bloody and cold. He said he believed the homicide did not occur at that location and that her body had been dumped there.

Several more witnesses were called to the stand Wednesday and the judge said he expects the trial to last at least a week.