Man accused of hitting prostitute with tractor-trailer is on trial

Mateem Hudson, photo courtesy Shelby County Jail.
Mateem Hudson, photo courtesy Shelby County Jail.

(WMC-TV) – A man accused of using his tractor-trailer to roll over a teenaged prostitute is on trial for the murder.

Mateem Hudson is accused of killing Waijonel Desilva, 18, in 2008.

Desilva was found dead in the road at Interstate 240 and Mt Moriah Road. She had been run over.

"By her being on the street, we thought that maybe an accident had occurred so we called for our special traffic unit," said Sergeant Cynthia Jones, Memphis Police Department.

Later that same day, Hudson was arrested in East Tennessee. He was accused of kidnapping and tying up another Memphis prostitute, who managed to escape.

It wasn't until July 2010 that he was indicted for killing DeSilva. He was charged based on a large part on evidence discovered on his 18-wheeler. It was revealed in opening arguments.

"Brain matter and other biological matter, hair, were on the back of that truck and all of that was Waijonel DeSilva's," said prosecutor Steve West.

LaRico Nelson says DeSilva started as a dancer before moving to the street.

During cross-examination, defense attorney Jeff Woods tried to discredit Nelson's testimony.

In his opening argument, Woods told the jury that prosecutors were reaching.

"Look at the evidence, ladies and gentleman. It will not be there," said Woods.

The state plans to call about 20 witnesses and they will present nearly 200 photographs in the case.

The prosecution hopes to rest by late Thursday.