Blog for Day 7 of Detroit officer's trial in Aiyana Jones' death
Detroit police officer Joseph Weekley on trial for 7-year-old's death
DETROIT – 9:49 A.M.
Officer Joseph Weekley is in court in a light gray suit.
The Prosecution is expected to call two witnesses before adjourning to an undisclosed location for a demonstration of the flash-bang grenade used in the March 2010 raid.
Blood spatter testimony will be particularly gruesome, especially when you consider the victim was a 7 year old girl.
Witness: Cheryl Lozen of the Michigan State Police Forensic Science Division, Trace Evidence Examiner
She is an expert in blood spatter, blood stain analysis. Also an expert in fibers, microscopic evidence etc.
Blood stain patterned analysis is used to determine how blood stains occurred. They can corroborate or dispute verbal testimony by other witnesses.
They can range from stains barely visible to the eye to large pools of blood.
We use bright lights to see any stain that might be there.
There were stains on several surfaces, but the couch on west wall of living room had an accumulation of blood stains there.
She uses a laser pointer to identify the couch in a photo exhibit.
Prosecution: Is there a certain type of stain that's called?
Lozen: Yes, there was pooled blood, and some swipes of blood where the stain was moved. There were very stains on the south end of that couch.
She testifies she wasn't on scene at time of the incident.
The stains may have been impacted by other forces in the interim between the incident and examination.
There was some saturated blood on the cushions, and underneath cushion as well.
There were also some small splatter stains on exterior of a nearby door.
Stains on door appeared to be spray or spatter stains indicative of blood dispersed through the air.
Prosecution: Do gunshots cause spatter?
Lozen: Yes, they can.
Prosecution: Do they move backwards or in direction of the fire?
Lozen: There can be back-spatter where the blood comes back toward the gun, or forward spatter where the blood travels through exit wound with the bullet and is deposited on surfaces in direction of the bullet.
Blood spatters usually go in straight line. It can tell you what direction it came from. In this area, there were elongated splatters meaning they were coming from higher direction and hit on their way down.
Stains like that could be made from other forces, like expiration of blood from the lungs, also from cast-off--blood on fingers thrown off to make the stains.
We found blood or tissue on south wall. Those had appearance of possible blood or body tissue and were not appearing like liquid blood. Irregular shape. It was located just above the couch---a foot above the back of the couch.
Prosecution: Would it be out of the realm of possibility for the tissue to be back-spatter?
Lozen: Yes, it could. That's one possibility. Testing found they matched the victim. (2 samples)
This is photo of shield I took in the laboratory. (Speaking of ballistics shield carried by Weekly)
Weekley was holding a ballistic shield when he made his way into the home. The blood stain expert testified the shield was struck by a variety of blood spatters. Some stains were projectile stains, back-spatters, coming from victim when she was struck. Others were drops of blood that likely fell on the shield after Weekley laid it down. Weekley was close enough to be sprayed by the victim's blood.
New witness: Tawana Powell, Michigan State Police Detective Sgt. Special Investigation Section, 20 year veteran
Did independent investigation of incident. Sought independent analysis of scene. Obtained search warrant.
Prosecution: Did you interview police officers, homicide officers, civilian witnesses? Yes.
Did you meet with members of Wayne Co. Prosecutor's Office. She was officer in charge.
Powell: To be honest with you I wanted everything done from blood spatters, to collection of evidence tissues, fiber, because a crime scene tells a story. So anything that could further tell us about the case.
She testifies a small army of investigators were out there to canvass the neighborhood. Technical experts as well in assistance. May 19th... a few days after MSP got the case.
We were there several hours. Early evening and well past dusk.
Prosecution: What kinds of evidence was taken? From interior we took the sofa by the window and this was not a protected crime scene.
Powell: Clothing from victim, the defendant, and the robe used as a blanket was collected and we obtained it.
Prosecution: Did you analyze the Hannah Montana blanket used by Aiyana as a blanket? Yes we did.
Prosecution: You had all this evidence from DPD and it was turned over for processing? Yes.
Powell: I had comparison from defendant analyzed with the evidence, interviewing all the officers. Fingerprints, DNA, from Miss Jones and the defendant. We continued to obtain video footage from A & E, photogs and producers, pulling things together.
Were you involved with grand jury? Yes.
Were you present when officers testified to grand jury? Yes.
Cross-examination by Steven Fishman:
When you took over the case did you review witness interviews? Yes.
Fishman: Is it correct you heard reports there was an allegation the shots were fired from outside the house? Ah, No.
The allegations originally from Mertilla Jones is that the shots came from outside the window? Yes.
And you heard her in court on the video (A & E) her say the same thing? Yes.
Fishman: Do you remember the attorney saying the shots came from outside? Yes.
Mr. Fieger says the shots came from outside? Yes.
Fishman: After interviewing witnesses you found there were no shots from outside? Yes.
Fishman: You talked about obtaining video footage... that was no easy deal. Yes.. obstructed by A & E.
Mr. Fieger claimed there was another video and we know that was not true? Yes.
Fishman: You told Mr. Moran (prosecutor) about search warrant you sought. Did you ask residents to come back in? We weren't able to reach residents. They had left the home at that time. I didn't want to hunt people down. If I got the warrant there were no questions.
Fishman: You testified about shell casings..found at the home.. about 30? Yes.
You know how shell casings... how does that happen? 49:34 As explained its ejected from gun, automatic weapons the shell is expelled from gun.
Fishman: You couldn't tell jury where they all were found? No.
Fishman: This photo is rear shot of the Lilliebridge address.
Fishman introduces Defense Exhibit A.. shots of the house as it appeared during MSP visit in May 2010.
Fishman: Are all these pictures of areas where the shell casings were found. Yes.
Assuming the shell casings came from a gun... they had to have come from close by where they landed. Assuming they were shot in that location yes.
Fishman: Are those casings taken from right on the porch? Yes.
5 different shell casings in front of porch... Yes. Others to the side? Yes.
Fishman: Did you have occasion to examine some vehicles in the back? Yes.
There are two vehicles... Dodge Intrepid and a possible Sebring (May 19)
Did these vehicles have anything to do with investigation. No. I do not know who owned the vehicles.
Fishman: You only take photos of things that are relevant to investigation correct? Yes.
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