Star witness takes the stand in Mosley murder trial

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Updated: 5/23/2011 6:56 pm
The defense called it's star witness to the stand today - Dr. Laura Pettler, brought all the way up from North Carolina.  Pettler, a blood stain pattern expert, used a diagram to recreate what she says is the likely sequence of events that happened the night Arica Schneider and Sam Holley were brutally murdered inside their Troy Apartment in 2002.

Pettler says the suspect probably came to the front door, as it was most easily accessible.  She says Sam let the person in and the two made their way to the kitchen. That's where she believes an argument began.  Because there were very few blood stains in the kitchen, and more leading into the living room, she says that's where the altercation continued. She says it was there that Sam Holley was quickly killed.

Pettler testified that given the type of clothing Arica had on when her body was found, along with previous testimony that she had to get up the next morning, she was most likely asleep at the time of Sam's attack.  She says Arica probably woke up and came to Sam's defense.  She says Arica then began struggling with the suspect and was also killed in the living room. 

Pettler says the way Arica's body was found is inconsistent with her wounds, the majority of which were to her face and neck. She says because Arica was found face down with her hands and legs outstretched, rather than in a protective fetal position, she was most likely moved by the suspect.

Pettler says the suspect then went into the bedroom, and transferred a mix of his blood and Arica's blood onto the bed. She pointed out defendant Michael Mosley's DNA is a match to that blood. She then says the suspect then went into the bathroom, where he transferred a small drop of Arica's blood onto the toilet seat. She says the suspect then went back into the kitchen and back out through the front door.

Pettler testified that in her opinion, the killings were "argumentative murders," spontaneous in nature.  She backed up her theory by pointing out "weapons of opportunity" were used.  She also says the sloppiness of the crime scene and the amount of physical evidence support that opinion. She says the defense's argument that the killings were gang related are highly unlikely because in her experience, fire arms are usually used in those cases - Arica and Sam were stabbed to death.  She says it's possible one person is responsible for the murders.

Pettler was first contacted for her opinion on the case by the defense for Terrence Battiste and Brian Berry, the two men originally set to stand trial before the case against them was dismissed as the result of DNA evidence. Before that DNA evidence came back as a match to Michael Mosley, Pettler recommended to the police that the suspect was likely an associate of Sam's who used drugs probably bought from the known drug dealer.

Throughout Pettler's testimony, defense attorney Terry Kindlon made many objections. Outside the courtroom, he has questioned Pettler's credibility, saying she obtained her doctorate through online schooling and is also a country music artist. He is expected to begin his cross examination tomorrow morning.
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