Day 2: People v. Isabel Celis ? Crime Scenes and Autopsy

The following contains information regarding the trial. If you are a juror or potential witness please do not read this until your role in the trial has ended.

Today we learned that judge Money had food poisoning yesterday otherwise the…

… DA?s assistant tells us, he comes to court no matter what, even if he is sick. So? trial resumed this morning at 10:20am with the first witness being the woman who discovered Norma?s body. She gave good testimony but the defense attorney, Wilson, started to badger her about her son?s personal habits and tried to make a point out of nothing. He finally stopped when the judge told him to move on. She is a very nice woman and I thanked her for all that she did.

The second witness of the day was a homicide detective, John Lehr, who responded to the scene where Norma was found and performed a search warrant at the Celis home. He established a lot of details about where Norma was found including that a spark plug wire were stuck to her pants. This is important since 3 identical wires were found in front of the Celis? home. Since you purchase spark plug wires in groups of 4, 6, or 8 this evidence is key to linking Celis to the body.

The remainder of officer Lehr?s testimony, all 1.5 hours of it, was taken up by the defense attorney spending excruciating amounts of time rehashing topics already established and identifying countless objects in photographs, from sticks to tricycles it went on and on. The jury and my back side were both asleep by the time he finished. Officer Lehr did a fantastic job and I was impressed by his ability to give concise and accurate answers.

The last two witnesses of the day were the Deputy Coroner and the forensic pathologist that performed Norma?s autopsy. Most of the details of their testimonies are too gruesome to repeat. However, I will mention that Norma had multiple wounds on the top and back of her head as well as the back of her neck. She also had defensive wounds on her hands suggesting that she was blocking the initial battering. She lost most of her blood before she arrived at the scene were her body was found and a final blow was inflicted by a 12?x13?x5? piece of concrete that weighed 75lbs.

Overall the day moved relatively quickly with the DA?s questioning moving at a decent pace and the defense?s cross examinations crawling to a halt. The afternoon was very difficult and many photos of the autopsy were presented. I looked at the ground most of the afternoon and selectively looked when I thought I could handle seeing what was being presented.