Murder trial begins against West Spruill in death, rape of social worker Ana Charle

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The man accused of raping and killing a social worker avoided coming face-to-face with her friends and family members Monday by waiving his right to be present in court. The man accused of raping and killing a social worker avoided coming face-to-face with her friends and family members Monday by waiving his right to be present in court.
THE BRONX -

The man accused of raping and killing a social worker avoided coming face-to-face with her friends and family members Monday by waiving his right to be present in court.

The murder trial against West Spruill for the slaying of Ana Charle began without the defendant present at the Bronx Hall of Justice.

Charle worked as the director of a Wakefield homeless shelter on Bronx Boulevard. On April 27, 2015, she left the building and was ambushed in the parking lot.

Prosecutors say Spruill was hiding and armed with a gun. He allegedly raped and killed her.

Witnesses reported seeing the victim fleeing naked down the street shortly before police say Spruill gunned her down.

Spruill was a former client of Charle's shelter.

Charle's friends did not want to speak on camera, but collectively they offered a statement saying, "Ana was a wonderful selfless person, a great sister, a great friend. She had other career options, but she chose this line of work."

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