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Trial focuses on forensics

Reported By Sara Gouedy - bio | email
Posted by Trina Kinstler - email

NEWPORT, KY (FOX19) - Focus turned Monday to forensic evidence in the trial of Fort Thomas woman accused of killing her husband.

Cheryl McCafferty claims she killed her husband, Bob, in June of 2007 in self-defense.

On  Monday, prosecutors called several forensic experts to the stand to testify.

First up was Amy Dorsey with Kentucky State Police, who talked about gun shot residue tests taken on Bob McCafferty. Dorsey testified that she tested Bob's hand in five spots, but her results were inconclusive. In order to prove without a shadow of a doubt that someone fired a gun, three substances need to be present. Bob McCafferty's hand only contained one substance, lead. Dorsey says GSR is easily wiped off, so it's possible that Bob could have fired a gun, but also possible that he didn't.

Sara Riley with the Federal Bureau of Investigation then took the stand to announce her findings on fingerprints. She testified that she did not find any fingerprints on the gun, shell casings, or bullets. However, she also noted that in only 10 percent or less of the time does she find fingerprints on guns and similar items. During cross examination, she also noted that if evidence is damaged before it gets to her lab, that can also remove prints.

The jury then heard from two forensic experts in the area of blood spatter and pooling. Carl Agner, a corporal with the Florence Police Department, testified that the blood pooling under Bob McCafferty's body indicates that there was no movement at the time of his death, because the blood was pooling to the lowest point. He said his conclusion was that Bob McCafferty's body was stationary when he was killed. Agner admitted that he never visited the scene, but rather viewed photos and video of the scene. He also said a slight movement can go undetected based on blood flow.

Another forensic expert, Tim Carnahan with Boone County, then took the stand to talk about the blood spatter. His indication was that Bob McCafferty was laying down when he was shot, based on blood spatter going upward on the headboard.

Prosecutors are focusing on the movement of Bob McCafferty's body because they say if he was stationary, then it rules out Cheryl McCafferty's claim that she shot him in self defense. However, if he was moving at the time, it would support her claim.

After a lunch break, two more forensic experts took the stand. Misty Holbrook with Kentucky State Police performed tests on the knife found in the closed, the headboard and a blue fleece used to cover th gun, and determinted there was blood on the items. Melissa Brown, also with KSP, determined that DNA on the knife was from Cheryl McCafferty, and DNA on the fleece and headboard belonged to Bob.

The day wrapped up early because another witness for the prosecution could not make it to court after being stuck in the snow storm in Virginia.

Jurors won't know until 8:30 a.m. Tuesday if they have to report to listen to the witness' testimony.

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