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Medical Examiner Details Cause of Death for Three Victims During Murder Trial

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Sept. 30, 2013

The second week of the Taybronne White murder trial picked up Monday in Greene County with the testimony of several forensic specialists, police investigators, and the medical examiner. Jurors saw the autopsy results for each of the three victims, as Dr. Deborah Kay with the medical examiner's office in Richmond detailed the cause of death. Kay testified all three victims suffered several gunshot wounds to the back of the head, torso, arms, and back.

White, 28, is facing first-degree murder charges for all three deaths of Dustin Knighton, Lisa Hwang, and Brian Daniels. Prosecutors say White shot and killed his three friends after a botched home invasion on Ford Avenue in Greene County, and dumped their bodies on Octonia Road.

A former Lieutenant with the Virginia State Police testified Monday about an investigative tool called the Scan Station c 10, which used laser beams to measure data points to get an idea of bullet trajectory from a gun shot. Prosecutors are attempting to prove White shot the three victims from the backseat of a Honda Civic belonging to Hwang. The car was found in a ditch in Albemarle County hours after the bodies were discovered on May 3, 2011 with alleged blood stains and bullet holes.

Forensic evidence continues to be a large part of the Commonwealth's case, as defense attorneys question the integrity of the evidence collected related to the case. During the first days of trial, a former reserve deputy with the Greene County Sheriff's Department admitted to stealing money from the evidence room, and White's case in particular. James Shifflett plead guilty to one count of embezzlement last year, but said on the witness stand he only took money and didn't touch any other evidence.

But during White's trial on Monday, defense attorney Edward Ungvarsky grilled the evidence manager with the Virginia Department of Forensic Science about packaging problems with evidence related to White's case. Ellen Spain told jurors there had been loose evidence found in the bottom of one evidence bag.

A latent prints expert with the Department of Forensic Science, Jeanine Childress, also testified Monday about fingerprints lifted from the Honda Civic crime scene. Childress told jurors five prints found in the car were used for comparison. One print matched one victim, Hwang. The rest were not matched, but Childress did testify none of the prints matched White. On cross-examination, Ungvarsky asked about 25 other prints lifted from the scene that were not used for comparison.

The trial continues Tuesday with testimony from a D.N.A expert.
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Sept. 30, 2013

The second week of the Taybronne White murder trial picks up in Greene County with prosecutors trying to prove the three victims were shot from inside a car.

White is facing first degree murder charges in the deaths of Lisa Hwang, Brian Lee Daniels, and Dustin Tyler Knighton.

Prosecutors say White shot and killed his three friends after a botched home invasion on Ford Avenue in Greene County and dumped their bodies on the side of a rural road. The car, a Honda Civic belonging to one of the victims, was later found abandoned in Albemarle County.

A former state police investigator testified on Monday morning about the bullet holes found in that car. Prosecutors say White shot and killed his 3 victims from the back seat of the car. The defense team is arguing White wasn't in the car that night.


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