Friday, September 18, 2009

Trial, Day 4

If you hadn't noticed, I've been trying to keep these entries very matter-of-fact and free of a lot of detail, to keep them respectful of peoples' feelings and neutral of bias. More details can usually be found in the news stories I've linked to. However, today I need to make a bit of exception, due to (1) the important nature of some of the evidence that is now coming out, and (2) a major event that happened at the end of the day.

To start with, several more detectives were called to the stand, as well as a DNA analyst, who talked more about blood stain patterns and what blood and DNA evidence was found where. A fingerprint expert was also called to talk about what was found in that regard, which was little inside the car, but a key piece of fingerprint evidence was brought forward from the hostel: Samson's fingerprint with Scott's blood found on a door. (To be completely fair, it should be stated that when experts identify blood and DNA evidence, it is always with a certain probability, which is almost always less than 100%.)

At this point, the prosecution rested its case.

The defense then called a number of witnesses relating to Samson's residence and work life: The manager of the hostel, and several people from the restaurant where Samson worked: the owner, Samson's manager, and a waitress. The manager confirmed that AJ had had a disagreement with some of the other employees that night, and on his way outside to cool off for a while, punched a refrigerator. This substantiates Samson's claim for the origin of some bruises that were found on his hands.

One of the key missing pieces of evidence that has been referred to throughout the case is a blue jacket belonging to Samson, a jacket which he reportedly wore everywhere, and which has not been seen since the night in question. The prosecution theorizes that the jacket had to be disposed of, but the defense contends that without the jacket in hand, nothing can be proven about it.

The last witness today was Samson's grandmother, with whom Samson lived after he ceased residence at the hostel, shortly after Scott's death, until his arrest. She testified to helping him gather his belongings at the hostel, and pick up his last paycheck at the restaurant where he worked. At the end of her testimony, a member of the public, from the side of the courtroom where Samson's family was sitting, came forward with something in a bag. It was handed over, and revealed to be the missing blue jacket. Completely clean.

The seemingly astonished prosecution had no more questions for the witness, the jury was dismissed for the weekend with the usual instructions not to discuss the case, and court declared in recess until Monday, after which the judge requested an immediate conference with both lawyers in his chambers. We will presumably find out on Monday what all this means. We will not speculate here.

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