Clearwater, Florida - Opening statements are under way in the Publix shooting trial where a former employee, Arunya Rouch, is accused of gunning down her co-worker, Greg Janowski, in the parking lot of the Tarpon Springs store back in March 2010.
Rouch had been fired just hours before, and police saythe 44-year-oldwas out for revenge, since she blamed Janowski for her termination.
Photo Gallery:Pictures from the Publix shooting scene
Rouch was fired for working off the clock, managers testified in court. She would often begin her shift at the sushi station prior to her official start time.
Janowski was said to have "harassed" her about it constantly, to the point where, the defense claims, she was called names and treated horribly.
"He called her a c***k," said defense attorney George Tragos.
The question is: was Rouch insane at the time of the shooting The prosecution claims she knew right from wrong.
"This is not an insanity case," said Assistant State Attorney Fred Schaub. "There's no psychosis, no history of mental illness."
Tragos paints a very different picture, telling the story of a "fragile" woman who was a "perfectionist" and trying to do a good job by coming in early for her shift.
However, that is against Publix policy.
Several managers and employees testified that they warned Rouch about it. One said that they witnessed a fight between Rouch and Janowski.
"She said, 'I'll kill you. Where I come from, this is what we do to people like you,'" said Donald Freebold, a 33-year senior employee from the store. "She dragged her finger across her throat."
Tragos told the jury that being fired in the Thai culture is tantamount to huge embarrassment, almost death. He said that with Rouch's Thai heritage, she was devastated about being fired, and that she went insane after it happened.
"She wanted to commit suicide by cop," said Tragos of his client, who was crying in the courtroom. "She was ready to die."
Five hours after she was let go by three managers in March 2010, Rouch returned to the store with a gun tucked into her green Publix recyclable bag, say Tarpon Springs police, and shot Janowski point-blank in the parking lot while he drank his coffee before his shift.
She then proceeded in to the store to try and kill the managers who fired her, prosecutors told the jury.
She also tried to kill other police officers who rushed to the store to stop her, records show.One of the officers, Michael Trill, was hit in his gun belt. He survived.
Rouch was shot four times that day.
"She lay there in a pool of blood and wanted to die," said her attorney. "But, she was airlifted to Bayfront Medical Center." Rouch would spend weeks in intensive care.
Rouch could face life in prison if convicted of first degree murder.
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