SOUTH PARIS, Maine (AP) — The state's third murder trial since courts began reopening during the pandemic got underway Tuesday in Oxford County.

Rondon Athayde, 49, is charged in the death of his longtime girlfriend, Ana Cordeiro, who was 41 when she died at their Hartford home on Dec. 13, 2018 in western Maine.

The judge rejected Athayde's request to suppress interviews he gave to state police after Cordeiro's death.

The couple’s 3- and 4-year-old children, who were home, were taken into protective custody of the state.

The trial is the first in Oxford County since the COVID-19 lockdown. The other two murder trials were in Penobscot County.