It was a Saturday night in November and Lisa Posluns, a 38-year-old real estate agent accustomed to working long hours, was leaving her fifth-floor office in Yorkville.

She left her cellphone on her desk, turned off the lights, stepped into the hallway, and was headed home.

Seven hours later, she was found dead in an equipment room on the building's ground floor. She had been sexually assaulted and stabbed, and her throat had been slit.

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As the first-degree murder trial of Nelson DeJesus, 36, began yesterday, the Crown laid out its version of the events that led to the death of Ms. Posluns.

Crown attorney Susan Orlando told the 12-member jury that Mr. DeJesus had previously worked as a cleaner in Ms. Posluns's office building at 94 Cumberland St.

In the months before her death, he phoned her office five times at odd hours, usually on weekends, and three times he used a block-call feature on his phone to conceal his telephone number.

All of the calls lasted less than a minute.

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On the night of Nov. 2, 2002, as Ms. Posluns left, Mr. DeJesus was waiting, the Crown said.

"I expect the evidence will demonstrate that Nelson DeJesus set upon Lisa Posluns in the hallway outside her office, and then, armed with a knife and a pair of handcuffs, he forced her down the hallway, around the corner and into a stairwell on the opposite side of the building from where her office was located," Ms. Orlando said.

Only someone with detailed knowledge of the building would think to take a circuitous route, avoiding the closest stairway that leads to the main lobby, and take the staircase that descends to a remote part of the building, Ms. Orlando added.

The Crown also said it intends to call as witnesses forensics specialists who will testify that Mr. DeJesus's saliva was found on Ms. Posluns's underwear and that his semen was found on the inside back panel of her jeans.

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When he was arrested, 4½ months after Ms. Posluns was killed, Mr. DeJesus tried to run from police, court heard.

He was halfway up a fence between houses on Euclid Avenue with police guns trained at his back when he finally surrendered.

He had been carrying a knife with a long blade, which he kept in a homemade sheath in the small of his back.

The Crown says forensic evidence will prove that traces of Ms. Posluns's blood were found on that sheath.

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Mr. DeJesus was also carrying handcuffs at the time of his arrest, which, Ms. Orlando said, had traces of Ms. Posluns's blood.

Finally, the Crown said that footprints left in the pool of blood beside Ms. Posluns's body match in size and shape the imprint of boots seized from a clothing locker where Mr. DeJesus stored his work clothes.

When he was arrested in March, 2003, Mr. DeJesus was asked if he killed Ms. Posluns. He said he hardly knew her, according to the Crown, who quoted from his interview.

". . . To me, she was just somebody who worked in the building. I'd usually say 'Hi' when she said 'Hi,' and she'd say 'Bye' at times when I was cleaning the lobby and she'd leave. That was it, never really had any conversation," Mr. DeJesus said.

The Crown said that statement shows Mr. DeJesus had no legitimate reason for the five phone calls to Ms. Posluns's office at odd hours.

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"He was trying to figure out the right time to execute his plan to sexually assault and kill Lisa Posluns," Ms. Orlando said.

Mr. DeJesus, seated in the prisoner's box in an olive suit, his thinning dark hair swept back from his forehead, took notes throughout the Crown's opening remarks.

The trial continues today.