Good morning court watchers,
This is John Ensslin, legal affairs reporter for the Gazette.
This morning, I’ll be live blogging from the first-degree murder trial of Marc Thomas Sylvester.
So far today’s testimony is centered on the crime scene investigation of a field in eastern El Paso County east of Schreiver Air Force Base.
That’s where authorities found the body of Jennifer C. Warren on Feb. 9, 2009.
Pete Quick, a technician with the Metro Crime Lab, and former homicide detective, is the first witness today.
He’s describing some of the challenges investigators faced at the scene, particularly from the weather.
“It was very difficult,” Quick said. “It was very windy.”
“We couldn’t use the crime scene placards that you see on television,” he added. “The wind was so powerful that it would just blow away our placards.”
Later in the investigation when the wind died down, they were able to return to the scene and used placards to document it.
Quick described how metal detectors were used to search for the bullet that killed Warren.
Previous testimony indicated the shot was fired from a high-powered rifle.
Warren died of a gunshot to the head.
Investigators found a couple of gold hoop style earrings that appeared to belong to the victim, Quick said.
But they were never able to recover the bullet. At the time, they had no way to know the angle of how the rifle was pointed when fired. Besides the metal detectors, investigators also dug holes and sifted through the dirt, to no avail.
“You could use the needle in a haystack analogy because that’s similar to what it would be,” Quick he said. “The projectile could have gone anywhere in that field within several hundred yards.”
Quick also described a search that investigators conducted five days later in a motorcycle repair shop called the Chop Shop in the 2300 block of East Platte Avenue of Colorado Springs. He showed photos of several blood spots found on the floor of the garage.
According to previous testimony, the shop was the scene of an assault on Warren prior to her murder.
Under cross examination by Deputy Public Defender Cindy Hyatt, quick also described strands of blood-stained hair found on the floor of the garage as well as six 9mm bullets that were recovered from elsewhere in the shop.
I’ll be taking a break here and resuming this blog later today.