Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Lunch Break

Here's a little snack to whet your appetite until tonight's full-coverage post.

Proceedings continued this morning to a packed house of media, friends of family of Harrison Yonts and friends and family of Nadia Shaheen, including Shaheen's three children, all Murray State alumni.

The prosecution continued to call witnesses, and testimonies were heard this morning from Patrick Morris, a patrol officer with the Murray Police Department; Todd Clear, MPD detective; David Townsend, MPD officer; Jay Herndon, MPD officer; Gina Owens, registered nurse with Murray-Calloway County Hospital ER; David Barton, forensic chemist at the state police crime labratory in Madisonville, Ky., and Chris Garland, MPD detective.

Chris Garland's testimony included an approximately half-hour long video tape of footage shot at Yonts's Wilshire Drive apartment on the morning of the accident, including shots of the damage to his vehicle and footage that shows blood spatterings on the door frame at the front of the residence, on the door knob leading into Yonts's bedroom and on the key chain that contains his house and car keys. There were also shards of glass present throughout the entryway in the apartment.

The defense has been working to establish that Yonts was not made aware of why he was in custody until into his questioning, despite asking multiple officers multiple times. They have also established through several witnesses that Yonts never requested to call his mother or father, or an attorney (his father, Rep. Brent Yonts, is an attorney) during this time, though he was granted that right under the law and more specifically in accordance with the Applied Consent Form associated with DUI charges. The defense also emphasized that Yonts signed consent forms voluntarily and of his own free will to have his blood drawn by state witness Owens at the Murray-Calloway County Hospital.

MPD witnesses largely testified to times they each arrived at the two scenes - Coldwater Road and Wilshire Drive - and also what their specific roles were in the investigation, including securing the scene, obtaining search warrants, transporting Yonts and securing the vehicle.

Court is back in session at 1:15 p.m. this afternoon with more witnesses for the prosecution. Check back around 7:30 p.m. for the full details of the day.


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