They told a tumultuous and dramatic story of a love affair between two young women, a tale replete with passion and partying, jealousy and a horrible ending.
But it was how that tragic end played out that the two attorneys disagreed on: Was it a cold, calculated murder? Or a spontaneous act fueled by cocaine, liquor and rage?
On Tuesday morning, the prosecutor and the public defender left the answer to jurors who will decide the fate of Lan Anh Le who, at the age of 22, stands accused of murder in the death of her lover, 26-year-old Monica Anne Anderson.
A few key details of the March 13, 2010, attack were undisputed in court. Le, then 20, and Anderson had spent the night drinking vodka and snorting lines of cocaine before a volatile argument over a cellphone charger broke out in the bedroom.
As Anderson tried to flee her Citrus Heights apartment, Le chased her down, butcher knife in hand. She sank it into her lover's back and then, when Anderson had collapsed on the ground, into her chest, arms and neck.
A forensic pathologist would count 91 stab wounds.
Deputy District Attorney Anthony Ortiz promised a short, straightforward trial with gruesome evidence, some of which he flashed on a projector during his opening statement.
He said the evidence would leave no doubt in jurors' minds that Anderson was "brutally murdered without any just reason at all."
As a preview, Ortiz played for the jury clips of the videotaped statement Le gave to a Citrus Heights detective shortly after the attack. In one clip, she claims "everything would have been peaceful" if Anderson had just handed over the cellphone charger; in another, she said Anderson "didn't really put up a fight."
"She started running away from me, and that's when it happened," she said in yet another segment, referring to the stabbing. "I was just really pissed."
Ortiz described for the jury a frantic call Anderson had made to her mother six months earlier, in which the tearful young woman said her girlfriend had blindly attacked her, blackening her eye and bruising her arm.
He showed photos a Citrus Heights police officer had taken of her injuries.
Other snapshots Ortiz displayed for the jury included post-mortem pictures of Anderson's carved-up body, one of them eliciting an audible gasp from a relative in the audience.
More evidence would show the "pettiness" and "ridiculousness" of the crime, Ortiz said. "Ultimately you'll hear about several decisions made that day a decision to kill, a decision to chase her down, a decision to stab her multiple times in the back," Ortiz said. "You're going to be left with the feeling, 'This is ridiculous.' "
Public Defender Sandra Di Giulio sought to build sympathy for her client, going back to Le's troubled childhood as one of 10 children raised by Vietnamese refugees in a cramped south Sacramento home.
Child Protective Services came to investigate allegations of abuse and endangerment on several occasions, Di Giulio said, but the children had been taught not to talk to them.
She described a 16-year-old Le who hooked up with the wrong guy, one responsible for getting her addicted to drugs. Finally, at a group home for women, Le began to get her life in order, only to get aged out of the system.
Di Giulio said Le fell hard for Anderson, "looked up to (her) this pretty, older girl who seemed to have everything."
She described their relationship as young love, "troubled" and "passionate."
"She loved Monica Anderson so much, but on March 13, 2010, when Lan was just 20 years old, she did something while under the influence of alcohol and cocaine and emotion that she is never ever going to be able to take back," Di Giulio said.
She described her client lying down next to Anderson's lifeless body and turning the knife on herself, cutting herself as she had done as a troubled teen, until a friend of Anderson's took the knife from her hands and detained her until police arrived.
After reviewing the evidence, Di Giulio told jurors, "you're going to understand why this was a crime of passion, a crime that can only happen when a person like Le has such intense feelings for somebody else."
"It wasn't this deliberate, thought-out, planned, premeditated murder," Di Giulio said.