Ward trial: SPD 'finds' missing bullet, expert says no I.D. on gun print

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

4:41 POST
TUPELO – Jurors went home early for attorneys to talk about differences in a 911 transcript, but not before they heard that a “missing” bullet discussed earlier today was “found” at Saltillo Police Department.
Ward, 25, of Saltillo is accused in the April 15, 2010, shooting death of 20-year-old Anna Catherine McCoy. The grand jury indictment charges him with depraved-heart murder, which is murder caused by reckless disregard for human safety.
He and his attorney, Victor Fleitas of Tupelo, insist the Itawamba Community College soccer player’s death was a tragic accident, not a murder.
McCoy died of a single gunshot wound to the head from a handgun found in Ward’s bedroom near her body that night. Wednesday, courtroom participants saw photographs of her bloody body and other items at the death scene.
Prosecutors are District Attorney Trent Kelly with assistants Richard Bowen and Josh Wise. Judge James L. Roberts Jr. says he expects the trial to last into next week.
(Below is a running account from court action today. Please excuse the typos and glitches likely as I type as fast as I can. Follow live notes from me via Twitter.com @realnewsqueen #Wardtrial and periodic, detailed updates @DJournalnow.)
• • •
3:16 – Judge back from break.
JUDGE – One housekeeping matter for media. Earlier in week, made a matter of record from Daily Journal about cameras. Record clear we’re not permitting for several reasons during this proceedings. Discretionary to the court. Always discuss it with counsel. Received a request from WTVA, WLOV, WKOH and they received same information that you did with respect to camera coverage. I have informed counsel.
JURY INVITED TO RETURN
STATE CALLS MARK ROBBINS – BOWEN TO QUESTION
ROBERTS – Lives in Lee County. Investigator for Saltillo PD, about 8 months. (Did you just get a request from Mark Haygood to look for something?) Yes, assistant chief, Prentiss Brown. (What did he ask you to do?) Come to evidence locker and retrieve evidence in this case. Locker is secure room and everything is locked by chief and located in police department. (Did Brown tell you for some reason.. piece of evidence missing?) He went through the locker with me – looking for live casing round. Live cartridge. (Did you find one?) Yes sir. (Found like this?) Yes, sealed.
(Look at label. what’s on it?) It has case number 10-40191, one S&W 40-cal round. Found on right side of Anna C. McCoy body at (address). recovered 4-15-10 about 22:10. Suspect Ward, Victim McCoy. Recovered by Prentiss M. Brown, captain at time. Logged in to evidence. Brown to evidence 4-16-10 at 0100. Logged by Brown to Mark Roberts today at 2:47 p.m.
(Again, when you and Asst Chief Brown found this, did you do anything with package?) No sir, Only thing we did, he signed it to me with date and time. I carried it by hand, drove it here, in my possession until now. (Now move to introduce this in that envelope as it is.)
FLEITAS – Ask to voir dire (question) witness before it could be admitted. JUDGE – May be marked for identification.
(FLEITAS – Make sure you’ve been working 8 months. Previously?) Saltillo patrolman since 2000 with three year break to go overseas Dec. 05 to Sept 08. (Wtih SPD when this case took place?) Yes sir. Not my case, though. (Item you got call about….?) Brown got call and called me to go with him. (In doing so, did he open evidence locker?) Yes. (Is he responsible for the locker?) Yes, he is the evidence person. Since I came back in 2008, can’t say before that. (At time of incident, he was custodian?) Yes. Not any evidence. If collected, it’s signed to him. (Responsible to make sure evidence is put in, logged in and when needed to be removed by his key?) Yes. (Nothing in or out without his key?) Right. (This item – you recognize that writing as his?) I suppose, I don’t know his handwriting enough to know if it’s his or not. (Recognize his signature?) Yes, it is.
(Reason you have this writing on the document is to show path or who’s touched and handled this?) Yes. (Prior to this trial, wasn’t just evidence related to this case in that locker?) Correct. (Evidence locker?) Room, has 4 brick walls, door. concrete. Most secure we have at PD. (If I stood inside… larger than 6 x 6? Maybe 10 x 10?) Yes. (Whatever evidence SPD has, it’s kept there?) Yes, also separate locker inside. (Also a locked cabinet?) Yes sir. We have double doors with locks too. (As investigator, you are familiar with necessity of properly tagging and dealing with evidence?) Yes sir. (This was not with other evidence in this case?) I don’t know. I don’t know how other was collected. I never seen it in locker until it was open today. He opened swinging door, reached inside. Moved stuff around and came out of locker with that bag. I went with him to look for it. (You watched him?) Yes sir. (He found it?) Yes. (Not tons of stuff in the locker?) No, not. (If someone had looked, they could have found it?) Yes. (Know why wasn’t submitted to Crime Lab?) Don’t know.
(Between April 15, 2010 and now, how many times locker opened?) Don’t know. (What about that room?) Could have been … hate to say… almost daily basis. (Always be Brown responsible for going in and out?) Yes sir, he signs in every piece. (You do not know, yourself where this came from?) No sir.
BOWEN – NO RE-DIRECT / RENEW MOTION TO ADMIT BULLET.
FLEITAS – OBJECT. Don’t think he’s the witness to authenticate that this is what he says it is.
BOWEN – Officer Brown said he collected and bagged all this. Testified now that it’s been in evidence locker. That Brown found it in evidence locker, as officerr said it was.
FLEITAS – Again, don’t believe this witness can authenticate it as related to this case. Understand it’s item, bag, a turn over form Brown to this gentlemen. But think it’s that he can’t make that connection in purposes of this case.
BOWEN – Disagree
JUDGE – Chain of custody is shown. Objection overruled. Entered into evidence. 3:38
STATE CALLS JAMIE ROBINSON / Bowen to question
ROBINSON – Works for MS Crime Lab, works in Batesville, Lives in Batesville, 3 years almost. Latent print examiner, 5 years. Examine items of evidence for the presence or absence of latent prints. Report findings. Latent print – a chance impression left – a chance happening. Cites her education, training. Third time to testify. Previously accepted by court as an expert. BOWEN – Offer Robinson as an expert in latent print examination.
FLEITAS – Briefly. latent prints examination? Basically, science of taking fingerprint or print and comparing it with prints of individuals to determine if it’s a match?
ROBINSON – That’s part of it. Other part is examining an item to see if prints on it.
(Fleitas – What will testify about?) Yes. No objection to her as latent print examiner.
BOWEN – 3:47 – (What is friction ridge skin?) Non smooth skin on side of hand or feet, to help you grip. Latent print is a chance impression. Somebody didn’t purposefully put it there. Explains how prints get on objects. (What is a known print?) A known print is purposefully recorded, of all friction ridge skin. (What are two underlying principals of use of fingerprints?) 1. Permanence – that your print is made while in mother’s womb. Barring some kind of accident, scarring or mutilation, they don’t change. 2. Individuality – every person has different fingerprints. Even identical twins have different prints.
(Were you asked as part of this case to examine certain objects for presence of latent prints? And to make comparisons?) Yes, I was. (What submitted?) Asked to examine Submission 1 in this case – consisted of cardboard box, with gun, magazine with reddish brown stains with 12 live rounds, tactical light. (If I showed you them, could you identify them?) Yes I would. (Give her box, what is it?) Box that was sent to Crime Lab, barcode with information, my initials are on it. (Indicate contents when submitted to lab? Or from lab?) I do not know if gun was in this box when received, but when it was received it was placed into this box.
(As you indicate, pistol was in the box. Familiar with firearms?) Yes, I am. (If I gave you this pistol, could you check and make sure it’s safe for you to handle?) Yes, I could. (Is it made safe?) Yes. (Recognize it?) … she’s put on purple gloves to handle the gun … Yes, I can. (How?) The lab number is etched into it. My initials are on tactical light. (Receied, was light on it or separated?) Separated, I believe. (What asked to do?) Asked ot examine or process for latent prints. (Exhibit 40 – magazine?) Identify it with my initials and case number. (Also 12 live ammunition rounds, S&W. Receive those?) I did. When got box with all items, llive rounds were actually in the magazine. (Additional testing on rounds?) Don’t know. (Some used for pattern testing. Can you identify any of them?) Marked them. Sometimes, rounds may get cleaned. (Show you Exhibit 41 – examine and identify any of them?) Can identify these. (7 of 12 to you for identification?) Yes.
(Prints?) Didn’t see anything of value at first. Then put SuperGlue and black fingerprint powder. (Reddish stain – did you cause that?) Yes, second exam I did caused the purple. After first exam, used SuperGlue. Got latent print off top of the light, none off other items. After I process them … lifted latent print. Processed gun and light, not live rounds. Used chemical that causes purple stain, which shows blood. (Discover any latent prints?) I did, on light. (Where?) Underneath, where gun’s mounted to light. (What kind of print?) Not fully recorded but it was very substantial amount for a fingerprint. (If had known print, you could compare it?) Yes, it’s “of value,” which means can be used to make an identification. Enough on there to do that. (To match latent print, what must you have?) Must have sufficient detail. ….. she gets technical about how that’s done…. (Must have a known print to make an identification?) Yes. (Were any known prints submitted to you for this?) NO, not at first. but did three additional tests on it. (When known prints submitted?) Opened first set on May 12. (Whose were they?) Two cards, each bore name Thomas James Ward.
(Exhibit 34 – identify that?) Yes, I can. (His prints?) On outer package, see my initials and date. … other info … (Comparison to make a match or identify latent print, what do you do?) We actually have magnifying glasses, they stand up on their own. You do it by hand, 25x magnification. (Match anything from site to known print of Ward?) NO, I did not. (Did you exclude him?) Yes, (Other prints?) Yes I did. (Exhibit 33 – ?) Yes I can. (What is it?) Print card, prints of Thomas W. Ward. (Match print?) No. (Receive any other known prints?) Yes, of Anna Catherine McCoy.
(Identify exhibit – and how?) Yes, I can. Initials and date on it. Different case number. It’s 10-010529. My initials are on card. (Compare those known prints with McCoy to latent print?) I did. (Make a match?) No, I could not.
In addition, before I got any known prints, ran it through Automated Fingerprint System. She explains how they use this system, through a computer, to match for prints in massive data base of criminals, job applicants, others. Any prints that aren’t identified, we register them to use later.
(Bowen – We ask that known prints she’s testified about .. be accepted into evidence – Thomas J. Ward, Thomas W. Ward, Anna Catherine McCoy.) Fleitas – no objection.
4:12 – (BOWEN – Are some objects more susceptible to latent prints than others?) FLEITAS – OBJECTION, ASK TO APPROACH. (Attorneys to go judge’s bench.)
JUDGE – Objection is overruled, continue.
(BOWEN – ?) Some objects are more susceptible to latent prints than others. (Any objects in this case, less susceptible to them?) Yes, firearms in general are not best to get latent prints off. Finishing on the weapons by mfg. Some salts in fingerprints, if no protectant on it, fingerprints left on them could cause rust. (Tender witness.)
FLEITAS – (You attended USF? A Bull where got polysci and criminology degree?) Yes. At that time it was St. Pete Jr. College, later to drop junior. Native Floridian. Born in Winterhaven. (My cousin graduated from USF, smile.) (You compared these prints to the latent print?) To latent print I found on the light. (Also ran through AFIS?) Yes. (Everybody who’s given prints get in there?) People who apply for jobs are just temporarily in there. Crminals stay. Some police in there. (Saltillo police in there?) I do not know if they are in there. Guess probably not. (In doing exam, made no identification of known prints?) Did not match to any prints I received. (Not Anna, Not Thomas and not his father?) No, it was not. 4:24
FLEITAS – FORGOT ONE QUESTION (You mentioned purple markings on gun, is it that purple markings caused by LCV?) (Used to identify blood?) Sometimes fingerprints in blood … wouldn’t see the print unless use the chemical. (So, it helps ID prints in blood?) LCV will react to any blood on the firearm. (But you use to identify fingerprints?) Yes.
REDIRECT – BOWEN – ASK TO EXCUSE THIS WITNESS. 4:26
BOWEN ASKSTO APPROACH BENCH
JUDGE – To jury, need to handle a matter outside your presence. Had very little of that since you began. But told by counsel, we need to spend more time today, that things will go more smoothly in the morning. Sensitive to your sitting in courtroom all day. Appreciate your continued patience and attention. Lets jury go to 8:30 a.m. Friday.
4:33 – JUDGE – Fleitas, briefly has issue.
FLEITAS – Objection to Robinson about opinions outside of those disclosed to defendant during course of pre-trial. And want to make record as basis for objections. Opinions outside those given to defense during discovery.
BOWEN – As I argued at bench, question he asked was not outside the field that court accepted as expert. She only ws to make clear to jury a picture. Jury needs explanation why she’s testifying. Necessary, in this case, only one valued latent print was found. Not unusual that latent prints aren’t ordinarily found. No surprise to her or anyone else who … that expert a=testifies about findings but natural things around examinations or tests. Believe question was proper and very limited. Told court it would be so.
JUDGE – Both fine lawyers. Fleitas felt that question was outside scope of maerials discovered to him. Bowen said it was logical extension of material discovered. My perception was that the question and answer could very well fall within expertise. I may be erroneous but have no intent.
JUDGE – NEXT MATTER.
FLEITAS – Propose two versions at issue. If court will allow us to go line by line through what we’ve got.
JUDGE – Court is still in session. They have transcripts which they need to review. 4:39
• • •

2:47 POST
TUPELO – Saltillo’s lead investigator in the Anna McCoy death says he can’t explain why a 14th bullet is missing from the case evidence.
Ward, 25, of Saltillo is accused in the April 15, 2010, shooting death of 20-year-old Anna Catherine McCoy. The grand jury indictment charges him with depraved-heart murder, which is murder caused by reckless disregard for human safety.
He and his attorney, Victor Fleitas of Tupelo, insist the Itawamba Community College soccer player’s death was a tragic accident, not a murder.
McCoy died of a single gunshot wound to the head from a handgun found in Ward’s bedroom near her body that night. Wednesday, courtroom participants saw photographs of her bloody body and other items at the death scene.
Prosecutors are District Attorney Trent Kelly with assistants Richard Bowen and Josh Wise. Judge James L. Roberts Jr. says he expects the trial to last into next week.
(Below is a running account from court action today. Please excuse the typos and glitches likely as I type as fast as I can. Follow live notes from me via Twitter.com @realnewsqueen #Wardtrial and periodic, detailed updates @DJournalnow.)
• • •
1:37 – Judge returns.
FLEITAS – Said some matters to discuss.
BOWEN – Confusion about whether statement was introduced into evidence. If problem we will proceed to do so. Exhibit 27 – if confusion, we’d move to do so. FLEITAS – Probably my part. JUDGE – According to my list, it has. But to avoid confusion, Exhibit 27 – waiver of rights – is deemed admitted for all purposes with same number.
FLEITAS – Wish to make sure my objections during Haygood testimony, regarding stick in muzzle as well as opinions he rendered, was on basis of lacking improper foundation. JUDGE – I think the record is clear. Continuing objection to that line of testimony regarding exhibits and item inserted into gun barrel.
1:40 – Ready for jury to return.
FLEITAS (continues cross of ex-Saltillo PD investigator)
(Do you agree that Brown’s actions of handling firegun constitutes mishandling of evidence, would it not?) I would say Brown’s handling was to ensure its safety and other people’s safety coming into the room at that time. (Was it a mishandling?) Textbook, yes it would be. (Reason for textbook procedures? To ensure legitimacy of investigation?) Correct. (You also tasked Brown with delivering evidence to MS Crime Lab?) No, chief did that. (Let me see if I understand … one of items, of course, is the firearm at issue in this case?) Correct. (Another item – magazine?) Correct. (Now, as we sit here now, agree it’s empty?) Yes. (At the time, it was … contained 12 rounds?) Yes. (Another item … ask you to remove the rounds from this plastic bag and other bag inside. How many count?) 7 not shot, 5 have been. (12 rounds?) Right. (7 live, 5 spent. Five spent as result of gunfire testing?) Yes. (Now, remove that … also admitted into evidence … the round extracted from the pillow?) Correct.
(If I understand police procedures, the way you have this taken to Crime Lab by filling out form to describe what you’re giving them to do what they with it?) Correct. (What is that?) Crime Lab evidence admission form. (One from SPD at your request for exmination of this evidence?) Yes. Meet their tech at front and type it up. Put in back to analyze. (Form for all evidence related to the firearm in that room that day?) It appears. (It appears? It’s your form.) It appears, yes sir. (Ask evidence form to be marked and admitted as evidence Defense No. 1) JUDGE – ADMITTED.
(Fleitas – puts form on screen. I believe, reading it, discusses evidence bag, Smith&Wesson 40-caliber pistol, magazine with 12 live rounds.) He shows them to jury. (Now 7 live, 5 spent. Show jury.) He does. (Also, spent round …. having trouble finding it on evidence table. Now finds it.) (Exhibit 29, 30 …spent hull is 30, right?) Yes sir. (4th item listed is bag with pillow with bullet lodged in pillow. No. 29 – lead projectile that goes with spent hull?) Correct. (Am I correct they were in one piece, one part comes out of gun, other part shoots?) Yes. (Magazine holds how many rounds?) 14. (According to my math, I could 12 founds and I count another round No. 29-30 makes 13.) Correct. (Where is 14th?) This isn’t only lab submission form. (Do you have another form that you admitted another round?) Evidence submitted, I did some, Brown did the other.
(Exhibit 4 – What is that?) A live round. (You don’t have it?) Not in front of me, no I do not. (But form is all the evidence?) That I did, that my name is on. (Puts form back on screen. That form?) Yes, I did that form. (Where it he live round on the floor?) Not on this form. (Where is the form?) I don’t have that. Maybe on Brown’s. You may have to look there. (You just testified that all the evidence about the gun was submitted to the Crime Lab.?) Yes. (All related to the firearm?) Yes, not a live round on it. (It’s not in evidence?) I can’t answer that. (Are you telling this jury that you lost evidence? Can you tell me, this jury right now, where that evidence is from that Bed Room is right now?) I thought it was in evidence.
I thought everything was packaged and transported to the Crime Lab. (12 rounds there, fired rounds and lead piece and live round make 14 – make full magazine?) Correct. (Know where it is?) No sir. (Aware of any evidence forms?) I know there were several forms submitted, but I can’t recall of top of my head. (Hand you a form. About GSR.?) Yes. (Another one by you?) Yes. (Example of how it works.) Yes. (Can you provide any reason why the live round wasn’t submitted to Crime Lab either at all, or not at same time as everything else?) I can’t. (You were investigator in this case, lead?) Yes, that’s right. (If you had the live round, would have been appropriate to submit with other gun evidence?) Yes, I would think so. (All should have gone together?) Yes. (Either never got sent to Lab, correct?) It’s not in front of me. (Or, got sent at some other time. Only two possibilities?) Yes. (Third possibility? It was lost?) Possibility. (Or,never existed?) Capt. Brown collected all the evidence, not I. I can only go by what he said and pictures he took. (But we decided some of the photos he took, they were false?) Well, that the gun had been moved, yes sir.
(Mentioned fingerprints … Tom, Thomas Ward and McCoy – none matched that latent print?… on the light portion of firearm?) NO sir. (Never knew whose it was?) We attempted to determine. Didn’t march them. (Would you begin the process of putting materials back in the bags and I’ll get the magazine….) (Now, were some other rounds related to this case that were done for reliability testing?) Yes sir. (What?) Reliability of the firearm. (Exhibit 42 – Look in there and examine contents. Those are 4 spent casings and 4 rounds.) Yes sir. (Shoot into tub of water?) I don’t know. (They’re not disfigured) Water sometimes. (Those rounds don’t have any relationship to event that night?) No, rounds they pulled from their supply room at Crime Lab. To do test firing. (Other rounds here, but you were responsible for gathering and sending items for testing. Agree for rounds that night… ) Yes. (Again, not suggesting what happened to round. My question is just, you can’t sit in here and tell this jury what’s up with that round?) No, thought it was in here.
(You are not an expert in internal ballistics?) No. (Ballistics?) No. (Wound ballistics?) No. No expertise in area of ballistics. (Others will testify about that?) Right.
(To clarify, an issue regarding you said when arrived spoke to officer, they said she shot herself?) That is what… yes what told me. That when they arrived, told it was self-inflicted wound. (Few moments, spoke to Thomas Ward, he said not the case, in his state of shock?) Yes.
REDIRECT – BOWEN
BOWEN (No question Brown told you he’d collected all evidence and sent to Crime Lab?) Yes. (Did you ask for test on the live round?) I can’t recall without seeing all the lab request forms. (Any reason to ask for test on the live round?) Only to see if it’s from same lot as shells in magazine. (No reason to test?) No. (You were asked on cross that you suggested to WArds that they get a cleaning service?) I don’t recall that. Know we spoke but advised him to seek an attorney but couldn’t answer questions he was asking. Also to get a hotel for the night. (Did they?) No sir. (Learned they returned to the house that night?) Yes, advised both had come back to the house. (Did you find that they complete cleaned the crime scene?) OBJECTION – Brown said not a crime scene. No crime tape put up. If it were my client wouldn’t have been allowed to go back. SUSTAINED.
(They cleaned bedroom?) Yes, purchased another mattress, Moved everything of room out of room shooting took place. Put in other furniture. (Immediately?) OBJECT – HE DOESN’T KNOW. JUDGE – HE MAY KNOW.
Haygood – On Tuesday of following week, we noticed all that.
(Bowen – So, what done?) In addition to cleaning up, all furniture in BR moved to another and put other furniture into his room. (What 911 said?) That female shot. (Advised what?) Police were advised it was a self-inflicted wound. (Ultimately?) After speaking to Thomas outside and his statement, I determined that it was not self-inflicted gunshot wound. (You also were asked on cross about textbook protocol? When officers respond to a situation like that night, and enter a house and BR with young woman bleeding, What is protocol?) To provide help to that person to best of ability. (Is that Job One?) Yes. (Precedence over moving anything in room?) Yes, trying to save her life, I’d say so.
(Before night of April 14, 2010, … you didn’t know defendant?) No, didn’t. (Did you know victim, McCoy?) No. (Family?) Her father, met Cotton when I entered Lee law enforcement 1979=80. I was deputy, he was with Tupelo PD. We knew each other, didn’t socialize. That’s all. Before this, saw each other once a year, something like that. *(Since then, has that changed?) No. (Personal interest in the outcome of this case?) No sir.
2:24 – STATE CALLS DR. CHRISTOPHER LONG
LONG – Forensic toxicologist. Studies substances people use and abuse. We study it so data may be entered into courts of law. Lives in St. Louis, 23 years. Employed by St. Louis University of Medicine Dept. of Pathology. Chief toxicologist for St. Louis County. Goes into his education and background. (Bowen – were you sent bodily fluids from Lee County case, from Anna McCoy?) Yes. (How received and request for analysis?) Received overnight express. To do general, complete screen. Look for chemicals, allergic reactions, poisons. (Who sent these?) Medscreens, responsible for collections here. (What fluids to you?) Blood, urine, eye fluid. (From those tests, make determination as to presence of drugs or alcohol?) Absolutely. (Break alcohol down when test for that?) Yes, 4 types of alcohol. (Blood in McCoy, what determined?) No alcohol. (Other tests?) Various drugs, poisons. Full gamut. Lot of data comes out of that. (List those drugs on your report?) He walks through various drugs they test for … long list. (Did your tests discover presence of any of these?) No, all negative. These are classics. Don’t identify every one we test for, just major categories. All of it was negative. 2:37
BOWEN – We tender him as expert. FLEITAS – We accept that.
FLEITAS – (Your performance of these tests .. company?) Under St. Louis University laboratory. My faculty position. Not a physician, have Ph.D. (All test on femoral blood, why?) Heart blood is subject to post-mortem redistribution. We do femoral blood because it’s more accurate representation of blood content. (Chose not to test heart blood, why?) Falsely elevated concentration was our concern. Femoral still has blood but more accurate concentration. (Question about items you received?) Do see bile sample, see it here. (By MedScreen Inc.?) Collection agency, pick up samples from pathologists and send it to us. (Who asks tests run?) Pathologist … looks at his records … I don’t know his name but sig looks like L.R. ….oh, Dr. Lewis. (How much charge for this service?) Think it’s $100 per case. (Why would it go to you in St. Louis?) We do a lot of work for Mississippi, other municipalities, Illinois, California, Colorado, Wisconsin. We have a very fine reputation and people trust our work. (Can MS do this?) I’m not sure. (Today, were you compensated today?) University will be billed, probably be about $500 for the day.
2:44 – BOWEN REDIRECT
(BOWEN – Dr. Long, this isn’t firs ttime you’ve testified inc ourt?) No sir. (About how many times?) 10-20 times a year for the past 20 years. (Ever failed to qualify as an expert in court?) No sir.
DR. LONG EXCUSED.
STATE SAYS WOULD BE GOOD TIME TO BREAK, NEXT WITNESS COULD BE QUITE LENGTHY, BOWEN SAYS.
• • •

12:06 POST
• • •
11:03 – Judge back in courtroom. Calls for jury’s return.
BOWEN asking questions of retired SPD investigator Mark Haygood.
(Bowen – When you saw McCoy’s body in morgue, did you inspect it? Face?) Yes, appeard to be entry wound in left side of face above her upper lip. (Between lip and nostril?) Yes. Appeared to be gunshot wound. (Look at other parts of body?) Yes, Took GSR kits, opened and conducted on her hands. (Clad?) She was still in her underwear. (Looked at her arms?) Yes. (Notice on =hands any injuries/) No. No powder burns. (Arms, undersides, injuries?) No sir. (Significance?) Yes sir. In my mind, if she had been holding a gun as told to me, should have been an abrasion in her palm from sight spckled. Some power burn, stippling somewhere around her palm or under her right arm. Didn’t see that.
(Did you take or have taken finger prints?) Well, Anna was printed at crime lab. Later, we printed Thomas Ward father and son. (Show you exhibits – No. 33, what is it?) Fingerprint card on Thomas W. Ward, the father. I took them. Submitted to Crme Lab. (No. 34 – what is it?) Fingerprints took from Thomas James Ward, defendant. Submitted to Crime Lab. (Briefly, take prints?) He describes how he takes finger prints. (Prints?) No Ward prints on side of gun. (Other tests?) Asked check of gun, operating as should. Distance -pattern test. Looking for residue. Tests on various distances up to five feet, to see how far back you could go and not be any powder residue on object. (Why important here?) Spoke to Dr. Adele Lewis after autopsy. Discussed statement by Ward. Asked her about powder burns, stippling, she advised… OBJECT-SUSTAINED. (WHY YOu asked for tests?) Because Lewis asked us to request. (Exhibit 43 – envelope. What is it?) Cotton squares lab used to perform distance test for us. (Did you try to determine ownership ofgun?) (Did Ward say it was his gun?) NO, he told us he bought light at Scruggs. I subpoenaed info at Scruggs about his purchases. They told us he bought gun there. (When bought?) April 3. 12 days before shooting. (Ward said he bought sight same day as shooting?) Correct. (Both items bought at Scruggs?) Correct. (When Ward showed you how this shooting happened, how did it happen?) First time, when speaking with him and father outside house. While giving statement to me, he was doing motions while explaining what happened that night. (Seated across?) Yes, at my desk. (Try to let him demonstrate how he did this, position of Anna?) As he was telling us, I’d look at him and he’d go through motions, turn around and how she handed it over across her body. (That she was sitting on bed, with head against a pillow?) Back against headboard, pillow behind her head.
(Per Crime Lab, rcovered projectile?) Yes, inside pillow. Brown retrieved. (Bullet from it?) Yes. (With cartridge fired from this gun?) Yes. (Say match of spent cartridge case found in floor, with guN?) Yes, came from that gun. (Said projectile from pillow, consistent from that gun?) Yes. That cartridge had been mutilated from shot. (Talk with Dr. Lewis, pathologist, she did autopsy?) Yes. (Tell you about wound?) Said no type powder burns stippling or soot around injury. (Reason wanted distance test?) Yes and way his statement as to how she handed him gun across her body.
(If sitting in chair … did he say if standing or sitting?) He said standing in middle of room. Next to the bed. (Demonstrate how Ward says this happen?) I could. FLEITAS- OBJECT … No way to re-create scene … but not accurate as to what happened. JUDGE – I THINK HE’S CORRECT. From variences, sizes. Wouldn’t be exact creation, what could you show or exhibit? (Bowen – Would like jury to know how defendant told Haygood that this exchange took place, as to how she reached across her body and position, if said way he said he did.) FLEITAS – Speculation. Any combinations of where angle was, how handled, Exercise of speculation. Deem it inappropriate. No proper scientific foundation to present to jury, your honor. JUDGE – Realize it would not be accurate. Objection is well taken. Trying to determine if anything might be beneficial in any way to show a re-creation. (Judge pauses.) I think it would be better not to do that.
(BOWEN – Exhibit 39 – look at weapon.) Open position, yes. (Check it, as clear,unloaded) It is clear. (Ask him to close slide.) He does. (Ward said …what? But would like you to demonstrate with me or on own, how the defendant says Anna was holding the gun when she made the exchange to him?) Haygood puts hand on front of gun, turned gun around and handed butt of gun to Ward. (What did Ward say he did?) When he grabed for gun, it went off. (Say he pulled trigger?) No, said reached and went off. (Bowen reaches for gun grip and Haygood is holding front of it.) She’d been shining gun light on ceiling and wall. When he reached for it, it went off.
(Do something else, show me again.) Haygood…. FLEITAS – OBJECT, SAME REASON STATED EARLIER. One thing to say what Ward told him entirely something else without scientific basis. Lacks anything but surmise and hypothesis. (Bowen – he’s simply showing jury what Ward showed him.) FLEITAS – That’s not what’s happening. Only they are holding it. Other than that, everything is pure surmise. Being presented as true. Violates evidentiary foundation. Pure speculation presented to jury as evidence. JUDGE – Respects objection but this witness was present and that jury understands that is it only what this witness was told.
(Bowen … Haygood puts long red plastic rod into barrel of gun and hands it toward Bowen …. ) (As to how he said he was holding it. her hand was on slide?) Correct. (What’s on top of slide?) The front sight. Small black like wedge on front. It’s in there. (Ejection port?) This cut-out on slide, that when pistol is shot, slide comes back, it kicks shell out and picks up one in magazine and slides it back into barrel.
(Bowen checks with colleagues for anything else to ask.)
BOWEN (You mentioned 2-3 terms jury understood… Soot, powderburns, stipling?) Stipling is unburned powder than embeds, looks like whiskers. Actually embeds in skin and can see little specks of it. (Did Dr. Lewis tell you circumstances that stipling occurs?) She said would occur, if gun had gone off at angle it siad … OBJECT – HEARSAY.
BOWEN – Tender witness.
JUDGE – Will permit you to proceed but will stop for lunch.
FLEITAS – To question haygood. 11:35
(Fleitas – Mentioned longterm Lee Countian, retired. at time of incident worked at Saltillo PD. First homicide investigation?) Yes, first as lead investigator. E911 called me on Aug. 15, 2010. Female shot, no manner. Officers requested my presence. (Idea of self-inflicted came up later?) Yes. (When arrived, outside who did you see?) First was Capt. Brown, approached me as I was walking up. (Brown wasn’t inside when you spoke to him?) Brown was first, let me check my notes to be sure. (But not to him by door to Thomas’ room?) No, he led me back there to room. (Said you saw emergency personnel in the room?) Think so. (Firemen assisting, all seven?) All in there, only ones in room – firemen and EMTs, no police officers in there. Brown stepped inside and I stood at doorway. (Saw others outside?) Were some others, a couple of reserve officers. Standing on outside. Didn’t see Mr. WArd or defendant when first pulled up. Some other personnel outside.
(Describe scene in room as frantic or chaotic?) Chaotic. (Small room?) Yes, 12 x 12, no bigger. (Seven grown men inside?) Correct. (Stuff being moved around?) I don’t know about that. I was in doorway, observed what was going on. Brown told me about Mr. WArd and son outside. Knew I couldn’t do anything in room. Went outside. One fireman told me after that… they were finishing up … to tell Brown I was going to get a statement from TJWard, one fireman mentioned her name. I did not know her, didn’t make a connection to her family. No. Not unless somebody told me. Later, about her father.
(Say went out to talk to Ward men. Met with Brown, EMTs-firemen in room. Went outside and met with Thomas and dad. Thomas in gym shorts?) Correct. (Was he wearing shirt?) Then, no. Sitting on ground with T-shirt in hands. (Describe him as frantic?) He was in shock, yes. (Corect, he was on ground rocking back and forth?) He was sitting up, with knees pulled up to him. I guess his hands weren’t on top of knees, arms at sides. (Shocked state?) I don’t know about rocking. (Father next to him?) Yes, as I stood there Thomas on my left, dad on my right. (Fathering trying to console him?) Yes. father in upset state. (Two men demonstrating extreme distress?) Yes, in state of shock. (Attempted to console and speak to them?) Yes.
(He told you about gun going off?) Yes. (At some point, you spoke to Tom Ward … that somebody said she shot herself?) Yes. Conversation at PD after weinterviewed Thomas. Father standing there with me, Gobel – he was saying he thought Thoams said she shot herself, but so much commotion going on he really didn’t know for sure. (But Thomas said it wasn’t like suicide? Right?) Right. (Instate of shock, he said that?) Yes.
(You said to Mr. WArd,you thought she wasn’t going to make it?) Yes, and that would ahve been after I interviewed Thomas at PD, just before they left. (That conversation at house? Possible? At station you told father tha she had passed?) I may have, but this was in passing conversation with him. (But you told Mr. Ward, they go to make statement?) Yes. (Despite their emotional state, they consented. Drove there?) Yes. (When observed Thomas, he was covered in blood?) Yes. On chest, arms. (But you learned that Thomas had been rendering CPR to her before Brown got there?) Yes, in Brown’s report. (He was covered in blood?) Blood from neck, chest down and then arms and hands. Still on him at station. When doing GSR test on him. (at Station, he was still emotional, in shock?) Yes. (Not operating with same faculties as you have right now?) I can’t determine that, but can say, his talking, he could carry on conversation for statement.
(But isn’t it true with statement, he was highly emotional in state of shock?) Yes, in state of shock. Appeared like he was going to throw up, gave him garbage can. He did. One reason he said couldn’t write. (He had dry heaves?) Yes. (Not have enough faculties, that said he couldn’t write?) He siad, I don’t think I can write. (Askedhim what happened?) He began to tell me. He’d say a few words, I’d write, read it back to him and pick up where he left off. (Told McCoy taken to morgue?) Yes. (Told Mr. WArd to tell son Anna was dead?) Don’t think I told him that. Dad didn’t want him to know she had passed, but don’t remember if I told him to tell him.
(Advised Wards could go home?) I told them to get a hotel room, probably would be better to do that. (That’s not in your statement before?) No, that was standing in the hallway. He asked about going back home. He’s not telling me anything. Said something about going home. I told him best to get hotel for the night. (I understand, two men talking, one a father in an emotional state.) Correct. (Not told he could not go back?) No sir. (Also tell Mr. Ward about a cleaning service?) Well, I don’t know. He asked me what I need to do next. What was taking place. I told him to get himself an attorney. (About room and cleaning service?) I don’t recall that.
(Didn’t you tell Ward about attorney – I’ve learned that she’s Cotton McCoy’s daughter and need to get yourself an attorney?) No, he asked what was next step, what was going to happen, legal advice. I said to get an attorney. (You mentioned that Mr. Ward … Thomas put a shirt on?) Yes. (Wearing on at station?) Yes. (GSR test, you performed it?) Yes. (With Thomas James WArd?) Yes. (Father?) No. (Did fingerprints?) Yes. (Cards for Mr. Ward … and Thomas… also one for Anna) Done in Jackson at autopsy. (Exhibit – what is it?) Fingerprint card for Anna McCoy.
(Latent print found where?) On gun. (Asked entire gun be checked?) Yes. (Latent print found?) yes. (Were Prentiss Brown’s prints on it?) Don’t know, didn’t ask to check. Wasn’t aware ot had moved the gun. (No reason to put his bare hands on it?) Can’t second guess what police officer does. First wanted to render help woman on floor. If later he saw gun on floor, wanted to make sure it was safe while everybody else was coming in there. (If firearm is in this way… with mag out and slide drawn back.. is this safe?) If gun is a reliable gun, it is. (Can see projectile in it?) Yes. (Trained officer with gun like this, would know it was in safe position?) Yes and no. In some training, taught to leave slide open. In others, to close slide. (But picking up evidence best not to touch it?) Yes, best not to touch it. Not with bare hands. (Did Brown say he’d touched it taht night?) No. (In report?) No. (Learned when?) Not too long ago.
(Learned when? Last week?) Yes sir. (So you understand that some photos aren’t accurate as to what scene looked like?) If referring to gun in photo, probably have to agree with you since it had been moved. (7 men inroom, moving, walking, moving boxes… isn’t it true about photos – no reliability?) I would say to pistol, where it was in photo. (What about live round?) I didn’t see live round. Didn’t see pistol when I walked to doorway of room. Brown indoorway. Took quick look. Then I exited out. (Brown’s action with gun breached police protocol?) I can see him making weapon safe, to ensure no accidental discharge. (Weren’t his actions breech of investigatory protocol?) Never try to move evidence. (Evidence was moved?) Pistol was moved to make it safe so paramedic wouldn’t kneel or step onto it. (But evidence provided to me, for defense, was not accurate?) I gun had been moved, then yes. (Knew about a week ago?) No, in last day or two. (Fleitas – Me too.)
12:04 – JUDGE – SUGGEST TAKE NOON RECESS.
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10:42 POST
TUPELO – Jurors began their first full day to testimony in the state’s case against Thomas James Ward.
Two police witnesses are first to the stand.
Now-retired Saltillo PD investigator Mark Haygood said that when he interviewed Ward late the night of Aug. 15, 2010, the man told him his gun went off as Anna Catherine McCoy handed it back to him in his bedroom.
Another witness, Fire Chief Mark Nowell on cross-examination said he did not see a firearm in the room until he got ready to exit it, then saw it on a dresser, not on the floor where it was photographed by a police officer later.
Ward, 25, of Saltillo is accused in the death of 20-year-old McCoy. The grand jury indictment charges him with depraved-heart murder, which is murder caused by reckless disregard for human safety.
He and his attorney, Victor Fleitas of Tupelo, insist the Itawamba Community College soccer player’s death was a tragic accident, not a murder.
McCoy died of a single gunshot wound to the head from a handgun found in Ward’s bedroom near her body that night. Wednesday, courtroom participants saw photographs of her bloody body and other items at the death scene.
Prosecutors are District Attorney Trent Kelly with assistants Richard Bowen and Josh Wise. Judge James L. Roberts Jr. says he expects the trial to last into next week.
(Below is a running account from court action today. Please excuse the typos and glitches likely as I type as fast as I can. Follow live notes from me via Twitter.com @realnewsqueen #Wardtrial and periodic, detailed updates @DJournalnow.)
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9:01 – Judge enters. Counsel says ready for jury. Sheriff escorts them into Lee Justice Center courtroom. Ward in orange polo shirt, black trousers (second day for polo-shirt style, first day was dress shirt and tie.)
Judge recalls length of time it took to select the jury. Today, you likely will hear more testimony.
KELLY – Calls Chief Mark Nowell, Saltillo Fire Department.
JUDGE – Says court is busy, with another judge working across the hall. Lot of traffic in and out.
NOWELL – 47, lives in Saltillo four years. Fire Chief. April 15 was fire chief. Been chief nearly four years. Before that, describes fire training, others. Work experience. On April 15, 2010 – responded to call about gunshot wound, 10 p.m. Was at the station, volunteers and paid staff. Had just concluded a meeting. Call just before 10 p.m. Paid staff and I went to address. Arrived 10:08 p.m. Dispatched at 9:58 p.m.
Got to house, entered front door, asked where patient. Patrolman Gobel pointed way, said Ofcr Prentiss Brown there. (Kelly shows him photo of Ward home in Saltillo.) Saw Brown at end of hallway, I said which way, what got – he pointed to his left, my right. As I entered doorway, patient was lying on floor, Her head was toward the door, face up arms and legs straight out beside her. (Back, when came to the door, what saw?) Group of people to my left in driveway. Didn’t recognize anybody. (So, back to room.) Patient female, appeared to be teenager, bra and panties on, Lots of blood. Moved around to my right, went toward her feet, Came back on left side, Checked for pulse. She was warm to touch. No pulse at neck. Other firefighters coming in. We went to defibrillator, went to try to get an airway cleared to push air into her. Unable to do initially. Put device in mouth for tube. Other using bag to force air in, difficult time getting airway.
Airway, plastic device. Describes device. Almost white in color. Purpose, to hold the tongue in place so can get an airway.
(Knew gunshot involved.) Yes. (Talk to anybody about it?) As I was assessing, asked if weapon was secure. Brown said yes. (When asked Brown about that?) Don’t recall exact. Asked him is weapon secure. He said, yes it is. (Treatment?) Describes actions taken trying to resuscitate McCoy. Other firefighter began chest compressions. Probably three minutes, defrib advised three times to clear patient, analyze her and says to continue CPR. After third, ambulance arrived with medics. (Did you ever notice any signs of life in her?) No sir. (Did defibr notice it?) Looking for heart rhythm. Never advised us to shock.
(Describe why had problems clearing airway?) There were bone and teeth and blood inside the mouth, it appeared. Continued to be a problem. Problem, over and over. Never got a clear airway, never saw the chest rise from push with airbag. (Timeframe, how long you in there working on patient?) We were there at scene 6 minutes. Medics said for us to continue, asked questions about where she was shot. We determined while working on her, saw what apepared to be a gunshot entry right below right nostril. Asked what caliber, Brown said 40-caliber. Turned it over to Medic #7. Medics got equipment out to do check for heart rhythm. We picked up equipment and left the house.
(Focus when walked in room?) On patient. (What else saw?) Uhm, dresser to right, bed to my left, toward her feet. Desk and chair in room toward foot of bed. Floor carpeted, good bit of blood on floor. Did not see handgun when walked in. Saw live round on floor near body, tried to remember where it was. Remember it was near where working. Concerned we might get on it or lose it. (Ever see firearm?) Saw a pistol in room as I was exiting. On the dresser. Exited room. That’s all I saw. (Could you tell, when saw firearm, if slide locked to rear or closed?) No, did not notice.
FLEITAS – 9:29 – Good morning, chief.
(Fleitas – testified about efforts to save life of young woman. You said for most part, to maintain safety, your real focus trying to assist her?) Yes, didn’t know who she was. Had a name but did not know for sure. (Did not connect with her family?) Yes, later. (You commented in general before going into the room, is it safe?) I asked dispatch in route if scene was secure. (Didn’t discus with Brown?) Only thing like that, I asked if weapon was secure. He said yes. Saw a weapon on the dresser. (Shows Nowell the firearm in evidence, hands to Nowell. In front of you, take a look at it. Is that the one you saw on the dresser that evening?) I can’t be sure if it is. (Does it look like it?) Yes. (It’s the gun introduced into evidence by the prosecution, identified by Prentiss Brown as one in room that night. Given that info, does that appear to be one you saw that evening?) It is consistent with one I saw on dresser that evening.
(You are careful and meticulous?) Yes sir. (Absolutely certain that you saw it on the dresser?) Saw weapon similar to this, if not this one. I know it was not a revolver. I am not a handgun person. (When saw it, was it in the state it is now, with slide back?) Did not notice. Certain it was on the dresser. Brown. Standard dresser in that room, up against the wall. (Where saw gun?) Yes sir. (Fleitas puts gun back on evidence table.) (Fleitas shows him photo.) A manual suction device, we use to try to clear airway. (This item?) Handgun. (Did you see it or such on the floor?) I did not. Pictures taken after we left the scene. (Ever saw gun by your equipment?) No. Photos taken after we left.
(Fleitas – shows another photo. Suction machine near McCoy?) When we were getting up, all our equipment should have been close to patient, yes. (Another photo – suction device and firearm?) Did not see that. Two of our other firefighters were in the room and they would have been in that general area. Haven’t seen these pictures. (What you thought the scene looked like?) Other than the firearm, yes. (Magazine to the right?) I do not recall seeing a magazine. (Near McCoy 5-6 minutes?) Yes. (You and 3 firemen in room together, it’s small room?) Yes. (Very cramped?) Yes. (Movement on your knees?) Yes, correct. (Officer kneeling by her side, her head, by where magazine and gun are in picture?) Yes… (PrB- long pause by him before he answers.)
(How they got there, you have no knowledge?) No sir. As I was moving out of room, noticed it. (PRB – talking about gun on the dresser.)
(What else?) Green bag, 3 feet long, med equipment in it. AED/defibr. Maybe another bag, 24 inches. (Those 2-3 items, all placed in proximity to Ms. McCoy?) That’s correct. (In additio to 4 people, also have equipment?) Yes sir. When work on ptient, I was very focussed on her and not a lot about the surroundings, mostly her head and face. (While you were in there, with firemen, Brown was standing by door?) Ot my knowledge, yes. (Anybody come in or out?) Not that I recall, until medics came in. (Did medics move a firearm?) Not to my knowledge. (Medic #7 – know hospital personnel change, do you interact with EMTs regularly?) Yes. (Medic #7, don’t recall names?) No. Number refers to ambulance unit, not personnel. (Describe either man?) I cannot.
(When you were going in, you said saw people outside?) Yes. (Didn’t know them?) It was dark, just silhouettes in driveway. (Police?) Couldn’t tell. 9:46 a.m.
KELLY – REDIRECT (Are you comfortable with handguns?) No sir, not at all. (Close to you up there?) NO sir. I do hunt. But use handgun sometimes. (Don’t know if that’s the weapon that night?) No. (Kind of looks like it.) Yes. ( was the weapon ever a danger to you?) Not after I asked Ofcr Brown if was secured. (Would you work on patient with gun in proximity that’s a danger to you?) OBJECTION (If a firearm was endangering would youw ork on a patient?) OBJECTION – LEADING (JUDG E- IT’S CLOSE, I’LL SUSTAIN) (KELLY – Did you see anyting that endangered you?) No. (Would you work on a patient while anything was endangering you?) No.
(What was scene like?) Talking to dispatch, scene was secure. Officer in hallway. I felt secure. (Ever feel unsecure?) No sir. (What did you see with firearm on dresser?) Nothing. (Was it suspicious or uncomfortable?) No sir. (Uncommon for things to be moved while treating patients?) Would not be uncommon. 9:51.
STATE CALLS MARK HAYGOOD
HAYGOOD – Lives in Belden, Lee County about 30 years of my 52 years. Retired in August 2011 with 30 years. Prior to, was investigator for Saltillo PD, about 5 years. Describes law enforcement experience, training.
BOWEN questions – (Bowen – did you get a call to investigate a shooting on Aug. 15, 2010?) Yes. Notified 10:05 or 10:07 p.m. Called by 911 dispatch. Told was a shooting of female in Saltillo, officers on scene request my presence. Arrived about 10:15. At location, Saltillo PD, fire Dept. there, ambulance on scene. Knew some personnel – Capt. Brown, Gobel, two reserve officers, John Price, David Lindsey, everal Saltillo Fire Dept., Nowell, three paramedics didn’t know who they were.
(Brown is Prentiss Brown?) Yes. (Waht did you do?) Spoke to Brown and Gobel,… FLEITAS – OBJECTS TO HIS USING NOTES. (JUDGE – Think that’s proper.) (BOWNE – Do you remember tht night?) Yes. (Prepare a report about it?) Yes, next day after. (Completed it?) May I look at it to see? Last note on here is Sept. 8, 2010. (Report – your ordinary work?) Yes. (Is it accurate about investigation?) Yes. (Ask to submit report as evidence.) FLEITAS – Request to approach.
Attys confer with judge about Haygood’s use of notes while he testifies. (PRB – I can’t hear them but this has got to be what they’re talking about. Fleitas insists Haygood must testify from his memory, not notes, although he may refresh his memory with the report. Fleitas argues vigorously.)
(Bowen – what did you do at scene?) May I look at notes? Judge – yes. FLEITAS OBJECT – to what someone told him. But Withdraw to move examination along. Judge – it is hearsay but it’s not offered for the truth, as a portion of that report. You of course can cross examine. (Bowen – What information give to you at scene?) Gobel told me he’d spoken to Thomas W. Ward, father, and he said “she had shot herself.” (Speak to anyone else?) At that time, I went to bedroom where Ms McCoy was. Brown there in room, 4 firemen there, 3 attendants from hospital ambulance in there. (What observed about BR?) I just took quick glance around to get an idea of what was there. How furnitur was arranged. I ws told she had been moved from bed to floor, trying to revive her. Looked at Brown and told him I’d step outside and find Mr. Ward and anything else. (What info did you get about where McCoy was when shot?) Had been sitting on bed. Brown told me. He didn’t say where learned that.
(You did what?) I left BR and went outside to look for Mr. Ward, the father. Only name I had at that time. Then realized two men named Thomas Ward. Didn’t know either one. (Since?) Talked with both of them. (That night, talked to either?) Yes, told they were outside. Walked out and found both of them sitting on concrete, apron of garage. (Anyone with them?) Reserve officer nearby, no one else. (Until then, what did you get from dispatch or others about nature of gunshot wound?) Only info I received was what Gobel gave, what 911 told them, gunshot wound. (Ever get contradictory?) When met two Wards … asked them to tell me what happened. Thomas James began to talk. (See him?) Identifies Thomas J. Ward, the defendant. (What he said?) I asked if anyone could tell me what happened. Defendant started talking. May I refer to notes? TJW said showing Anna the new light on his pistol. (FLEITAS – Reflect he’s reading from notes. Continuing objection.)
(Continue …) Showing new light on his pistol earlier that day at Scruggs Lawn Feed. She was playing with it, shining light on the wall. I asked where she was when it happened. This is what he told me. Said she was sitting on the bed with back to headboard, with pillow behind her head. Said she was handing him the pistol. (How?) She turned gun around and handed it, grip first, with her hand on top of slide. Said when he reached to grab gun by the grip, it went off. Ceased asking him anything else. I told Brown I wanted to get Thomas to PD for statement as soon as possible. Brown, fire and EMS still here.
(Did you make any notes about BR or items?) (What happened?) I asked Ward’s father to drive him to PD and I followed them. Arrived before 11 p.m. (Dressed?) Gym shorts and T-shirt. (Did father say he had any direct knowledge about shooting?) He said at front of house near kitchen area, heard a loud bang or loud noise and then heard son screaming. Arrived at PD, Wards already there. Gobel and I … asked father to wait … Gobel and I took TJW to office where we interviewed him.
(He agreed to talk to you?) He did. (Before that talking, did you advise him of any rights?) I did, I read him the right to waiver. Said he understood it, signed off on it. To give statement. Gobel present. (Bowen shows him document, what is it?) First page, “It’s your rights” … (Known as Miranda warning?) It is. (Read slowly, tell us what you read to him?) Haygood reads Miranda warning. He said understood and then he signed it. We did not sign it until after he did. (Before that, did you make any promises to him, threaten him, coersion?) No, we did not. (Did he agree to answer questions?) Yes, basically I said I didn’t have my digital recorder. Hadn’t bought a new one. Asked him to write out what happened. He said he couldn’t, said he didn’t think he could. I said, I’ll write it and we’ll go over it and then you can sign? He agreed to do that. Way I did it, he’d say some words and I’d get them down and read it back, then he’d continue until we finished the statement.
(Other pages of exhibit – is that the written statement from him?) It is. (Read it slowly.)
Haygood – Ward statement … DOB 3/2987 … A buddy in Marines told me about a light that attches to pistol, got one after work today. Put it on, threw it into dresser draw. Then Anna came over. Went to Harvey’s, came back home. She asked to see it. Handed it to her. Said it was heavy. She got clip from drawer, put it in. She was playing around with it. She pulled the slide back. Didn’t know it put a shell in it. Turned gun around, hold of slide with grip end toward me – I reached for it, went off. I saw blood and her on bed. Yelled for dad, he ran for phone. Moved her off bed when paramedics told me, my dad. Doing what they told him to do on phone. He signed it, Gobel signed it Aug. 15, 11:20 p.m.
(Bowen – Tell me again, you gave setting with gun in bR… FLEITAS – Ask to confer with court.) Attys talk with judge at bench.
(BOWEN – Shows document to Fleitas. Puts it on large screen. 4th line down, how does he say gun fired?) That as he reached for the gun and grabbed the grip and the gun went off. (When he said this, did you ask him to show you how it happened?) He demonstrated that for me while he was sitting on concrete at his house. He showed movements at the house. When gave statment, he did body motion of reaching for it as she handed it to him.
(Where and what position was McCoy?) She was sitting on bed with bad to headboard with a pillow behind her head. Sitting up. He said Anna has it at that point. Then, she got ready to gibe it back an took it, turned it around, put her hand on top of slide, handed with right hand across her body to him. He was in middle of room next to bed. Fired – He says I reached and put my hands around it, it went off. (It went off?) It went off.
(Familiar with firearms?) Yes. (Training?) With SWAT with Bureau of Narcotics, specialized training with firearms. (You asked Brown to secure scene, collect evidence?) Yes. (Got firearm?) Yes. Saw it next day. (Familiar with that type weapon?) I knew it was Smith&Wesson, 40 caliber. Basic semi-automatic pistol. (Do any testing on it?) No sir. (What did you do or say do, with items taken by Brown?) Basically, Brown got them. Took to PD to get sealed, marked to take to Crime Lab. Stayed in good custody, as far as I know, until he took to Lab.
(What else did you do in ivnestigation?) That night, went to hospital. Back up… after we finished TJW interview, I performed gunshot residue kit at office, performed on his hands. Immediatley after statement. So GSR after that. (What is GSR?) It comes in a pack. Four tubes. Two are for right hand, two left. Take top off, instructions, says to dot it across backsides of person’s hand. Repeat according to instructions on toehr parts of hand. Comes in bag, label it, ship it off to Crime Lab. Testing for gunpowder. (Kit?) Standard, we buy. (When take samples, palm and back of hand, do you test it?) No, to Crime Lab. (Purpose of samples?) To see if any gunpowder residue on hands of individual. (Bowen hands him envelope?) GSR kit. Believe Brown took to Crime Lab. (Envelope, who generated it?) It’s one comes inside package, put officers’ names, fills out for Crime Lab. (Another envelope – what is it?) Yes sir. One of GSR I did on McCoy that night, at hospital morgue. She was dead. (How did?) Coroner contacted me to find parents. We looked through her phone, had Mom and Dad. I called them. Attempting to transport body to autopsy in Jackson. Knew I needed to go to hospital as soon as possible to go GSR. Met coroner there. Went to morgue, took GSR, performed test on both of her hands. Handled them same way as TJWard. Brown took everything to Crime Lab.
(Let’s go back to defendant. Asked him to go to PD.) Yes. (Know what he did from you talked to him and transportation, with regard to hands?) He got in car with dad and they drove to PD. (Did he wash hishands, wiped?) FLEITAS – OBJECITON, SPECULATION. JUDGE – SUSTAIN FOR SPECULATION.
Haygood – noticed he had blood on him from neck and chest down to hands. He still had blood on best but saw arms and hands, even though had T-shirt on during interview.
(McCoy’s body – wiped or cleaned whenyou saw it?) No, it had not.
JUDGE – CAN WE TAKE BREAK HERE? 10:41 A.M.
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