The mother of a slain pharmacist whose corpse was found buried in the yard of the man charged with strangling him says her son trusted his accused killer.

Geraldine Kerkowski testified Thursday in the trial of 41-year-old Hugo Selenski, who's charged with killing her son Michael Kerkowski and the pharmacist's girlfriend, Tammy Fassett.

Michael Kerkowski was reported missing in 2002 after he failed to show up for his sentencing for selling painkillers without prescriptions. Kerkowski says her son told him that Selenski was helping him with his legal troubles.

Prosecutors say Selenski and another man stole tens of thousands of dollars from the pharmacist. They are seeking the death penalty. Selenski has pleaded not guilty.

Authorities found at least five sets of human remains in Selenski's yard in 2003.