Thursday, March 16, 2017
Murder Trial Continues
Attorneys sparred over physical evidence from a Davidsonville homicide scene Wednesday, the first day of testimony in the trial of a man charged with stabbing a marijuana dealer to death in her home.
While Assistant State's Attorney Jason Miller focused on the bloody scene created by the attack on Nicole Burgess, defense attorneys tried to pick apart evidence prosecutors say put Terrence Proctor, 40, of Hyattsville, at her home on Royal Glen Court.
Proctor's first-degree murder trial before Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Michele Jaklitsch restarted Wednesday. Courts in Annapolis were closed Tuesday because of the winter storm.
Prosecutors have said Proctor and Burgess set up a meeting over a drug sale, and he killed her and her boyfriend's dog during a robbery. Police estimate she was selling about $240,000 worth of marijuana a month.
Prosecutors have said the two set up a meeting on March 22, 2013, the morning Burgess' body was found in her home in the 3300 block of Royal Glen Court.
Miller spent much of the day introducing testimony from emergency personnel called to Burgess' home. At one point, as images of the crime scene were displayed, Burgess' mother, Mary, left the courtroom.
Defense attorney William Cooke questioned evidence involving shoe imprints taken from the scene as he cross-examined Craig Robinson, a county police crime scene and evidence technician.
Robinson said the imprints were left by someone wearing a pair of Skechers men's Velcro shoes, which came in about five styles at the time of Burgess' killing.
Cooke said the shoes Proctor gave to police during questioning on March 28, 2013, didn't match the imprints at Burgess' home.
Robinson admitted that police have not been able to match the shoe to anything "other than the style."
Cooke also questioned how much of the evidence police found at the scene was actually linked to Proctor. No fingerprints were found near the body, and Cooke has challenged the accuracy of police statements that they found Proctor's DNA at the scene.
On Wednesday, Proctor's lawyers also challenged the idea that he had killed Burgess to get proceeds from her drug dealing. Prosecutors say he stole 7 pounds of marijuana Burgess had recently had shipped to her, which alone would have been worth about $28,000.
At the crime scene at Burgess' home, police also found hallucinogens, jewelry, Burgess' purse with about $325 still in it and a safe with a large sum of money.
Miller asked county police crime scene technician Jay Potter about the purse.
"Walking by, could you see the money that was in the purse?" Miller said.
"No," Potter said.The trial is expected to continue Thursday with more testimony. Proctor elected to have his case decided by Jaklitsch rather than a jury.