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The trial for the death of a naval petty officer in 2001 began Tuesday after two decades of sitting in the cold case locker.

The accused, Gregory Malarik, sat in court Tuesday morning while his children, Gregory “Little Greg” Malarik and Jacob Malarik, took the stand to answer questions regarding Sept. 21, 2001 — the day their mother, Petty Officer 1st Class Sherri Malarik, was murdered. 

The prosecuting and defense attorneys used the witnesses to describe a timeline of what happened the final night the children saw their mother and painted a picture for the jury entailing what happened that night. 

Jacob told the prosecutor that he was in between the kitchen and the dining room when he last saw his mother.

Gregory Malarik listens to opening statements on the first day of his murder trial Tuesday, June 14, 2022. Malarik is accused of killing his wife, Sherri Malarik, who was found dead in a Cantonment Winn Dixie parking lot on Sept. 22, 2001.

“I just remember my mom walking by and saying nonchalantly, ‘Hey, I’m going to go outside to talk to your dad,'” Jacob said. “And that was the last I saw of her.”

The prosecutor, Amy Shea, said in opening statements that Malarik had the means and the motive to murder his wife — especially surrounded by his apparent affair with Jennifer Spohn.

Spohn was identified by the two Malarik children as the family babysitter, but when Sherri Malarik, a petty officer 1st class in the Navy, deployed to Greece for a year they testified that Spohn began coming to the house more frequently, including non-babysitting days.

Original report:NCIS, ECSO arrest a Cantonment man in connection with a 2001 murder case

Pretrial:Cold case: Trial begins today for Cantonment man who allegedly murdered wife in 2001

The arrest 20 years later:NCIS: Cantonment man arrested in 20-year-old cold case murder motivated by his affair

Gregory Malarik listens to opening statements on the first day of his murder trial Tuesday, June 14, 2022. Malarik is accused of killing his wife, Sherri Malarik, who was found dead in a Cantonment Winn Dixie parking lot on Sept. 22, 2001.

Both Jacob and “Little Greg” told the court that they suspected their father was having an affair even though they were 11 years old at the time.

The defense and prosecution told the jury that Spohn was given immunity from any association with what happened the night of Sherri Malarik’s death, and defense attorney Chris Crawford told the News Journal that Spohn will testify during the trial.

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