The trial against the man accused of killing a Staten Island woman in Turkey earlier this year began Tuesday.
According to a Turkish news agency, the defendant, Ziya Tasali, admitted in court to killing 33-year-old Sarai Sierra by hitting her in the head with a rock, but denied having sexually assaulted her.
The court has ordered Tasali placed under observation to assess his mental health, as his lawyer claims his client cannot understand the meaning and results of his actions.
Sierra, a mother of two, was found dead in Istanbul this past February after she went missing during her vacation.
Prosecutors are asking for a life sentence for Tasali.
His trial is set to resume in November.