UPDATE 5:18 PM
Being dropped off at the Universal City Station, I just miss catching a train by about 10 seconds. I open up my laptop and decide to write while I wait. Like I mentioned yesterday, the prosecution hopes to rest their case today. They have two witness left to call after firearms expert Daniel Rubin.
It was yesterday or the day before that the woman sitting at the detectives table right behind the prosecution, (I think she is a DDA.) was wearing a striking hot pink, form fitting jacket with a bit of flair on the wrist and over the hips. It was paired with an A-line black skirt. There were big black decorative buttons down the front of the jacket. It was a sharp outfit.
I have to admit I am missing writing about the attire that people wear to court like I observed in the two Spector trials. I think it was Wednesday that I was admiring the sky blue tie that DDA Nunez was wearing. It had a bit of a shimmer to the fabric. When I was squinting to try to see it better, DDA Nunez asked if I was frowning or staring at him. I confessed that I was admiring his tie. Writer Matthew McGough thought that the witness on the stand at the time, has the exact same color tie and jokingly accused DDA Nunez and the witness of matching their wardrobe, but I could tell that the witness had on a tie with a different hue and weave. DDA Presby often wears a two-toned striped tie. I’ve not seen anyone wear ties that compare to DDA Alan Jackson’s collection. I’m betting his wife helped pick those out.
When blood bank expert Dr. Connie Westhoff testified, she reminded me a bit of Diane Ogden, a 1101b witness in the Spector trial, but with more subdued, hair and makeup. She had on a pearl necklace paired with a form fitting black suit. The long cuffs of her pink blouse were folded back over the jacket sleeve creating a very polished, professional look.
Up on the 9th floor at 8:20 AM. Scott Young is sitting on the bench across from me.
8:30 AM DDA Nunez is speaking to the family in the hallway. John Ruetten is with them.
Crime scene analyst Mark Safarik testified about the specific circumstances of the crime scene that lead him to believe that this was a staged scene and not a burglary or interrupted burglary. He descried in detail how he believes that Rasmussen was initially confronted in the kitchen area where the first shots were fired. Rasmussen then got away from her attacker but was recaptured and assaulted in the entry way area. The final assault occurred in the living room where she was struck with the vase and shot three times. While the witness testified, Loretta Rasmussen and John Ruetten silently sobbed behind me.
If it hasn't dawned on everyone yet, today is the 26th anniversary of Sherri Rae Rasmussen's murder.
A little information on what happened this morning before testimony started. Male Juror #4 called in sick to Judge Perry's clerk Melody. Judge Perry tells the court that Juror #4 stated he has been feeling ill and believes he has an ear infection. Judge Perry plans to excuse him. He will seat an alternate. Judge Perry asks the parties if they have any preference, otherwise, he will appoint Alternate #1, a male. DDA Presby has no preference; that's fine with him. There is a conference at the defense table. Overland asks that there be a random draw from the alternates so that is how the single female alternate, Alternate #6 is now moved into Juror seat #4. Judge Perry tells the jury, "That's why we have alternates." The jury is now made up of nine women and three men. DDA Nunez, outside the presence of the jury, asked Judge Perry that the juror be instructed that he's still under admonition. Judge Perry indicated that through the clerk, he told the juror he is still under the admonition (not to talk about the case until it reaches a verdict or is over).
In Overland's cross of firearms expert Rubin, he went over every gun listed in his report that came back from a search of a database, (revolvers with the specific lands and groves and right twist) that could have possibly fired the bullets recovered by the coroner, 42A and 42B. It was a long list. In redirect, DDA Presby brought out the fact that not all of these weapons had a two-inch barrel. The list of weapons that had a two-inch barrel was noticeably smaller.
In Nunez' direct examination of crime scene analyst Safarik, we learned that he worked for the FBI for 22 years and retired in 2007. The last twelve of those were in the elite Behavioral Sciences Unit. He is executive director of Forensic Behavioral Services, a consulting company that helps in behavioral analysis of violent crimes.
I'll be working into the night to bring you as much detailed coverage as I can of today's testimony. Monday morning at 9:00 AM, the prosecution will rest their case and enter into various stipulations with the defense. After that, the defense will present their case. We lost another juror in the afternoon session and I will tell you what happened in my next update. And no, I do not know how long the defense case will take or if there will be a rebuttal case.