Opening arguments are expected Tuesday in the second murder trial of suspect David Fields.
Prior to jury selection Monday, special prosecutor Charles Colburn withdrew a blood spatter report that he obtained after the first trial ended in mistrial in July.
Circuit Judge Robert Haida also ruled that Fields' lawyers - Brittany Kimble and Ryan Neal - could ask witness Jamie Lott for names of two persons she identified at different times as a second suspect.
Colburn sought to prevent defense from naming the individuals.
“No one has been arrested,” Colburn said.
He said the defense would argue that jurors shouldn’t believe Lott because police don’t believe her.
Kimble said that wasn’t her argument. She said she could not perfect her impeachment if Lott can’t say she changed stories.
Colburn said they could do it without naming anybody.
Kimble said names in the paper were no concern of hers.
Haida asked how it would add to impeachment.
“That’s their complete case,” Kimble said.
Haida said Colburn conceded that there are different versions. Haida also said it would be unfair not to allow defendant to cross examine Lott about different versions and identities.
In arguing the motion to bar Colburn’s blood spatter report, Colburn said state police crime technician Virgil Perkins sent it to him on Nov. 20.
He said he forwarded it to the defense on Nov. 21.
Kimble said that in court on Sept. 14, Colburn told the defense it had all evidence. And, on the date, she agreed on a Dec. 3 trial. But, she said, Colburn did not ask for a spatter report until Aug. 15 – after the first trial ended and after he told defense it had all evidence.
“Their obligation is to tell us it’s pending,” she said. “We set the trial not knowing that anything was out there.
“He has to tell us something is brewing.”
She asked if the report would change the opinion of her expert. She said her expert couldn’t prepare a response in time for the trial.
She asked Haida to continue the trial if he didn’t bar the report.
Colburn said, “I didn’t know that the report was coming until I received it.”
Haida said he was in the dark on relevance.
Kimble said Carl Silas was moved.
“Our theory is that the entire story Lott and the family derived was a lie based on scientific evidence,” Kimble said.
Haida said Colburn’s view was that he didn’t have an obligation until he had a piece of paper in his hand.
Haida said, “I’m just not sure.”
He told Colburn, “I don’t understand why you didn’t tell them. It’s hard for me to dispute what Ms. Kimble is saying here.”
Colburn withdrew the report.
Next, Kimble’s colleague Neal asked Haida to reconsider his denial of a motion to dismiss the indictment as double jeopardy.
Neal renewed an argument that Colburn intentionally caused a mistrial.
“He has an affirmative obligation to prepare his witnesses,” Neal said.
Haida said Colburn might have been unprepared.
“Hindsight is twenty twenty,” Haida said, and reaffirmed his previous decision not to dismiss on double jeopardy grounds.
He said that with regard to Perkins, there could have been a better process.
He said maybe he and Colburn don’t agree on his obligations.
Colburn said he believed he would be done with his case on Thursday.
He said he cut a day off from last time.
Kimble said her investigator and expert would testify next Monday.
Jury selection occupied the afternoon.