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April 10, 2012

Blood discussed in afternoon murder trial testimony

CHICKASHA — Defense attorney Al Hoch opened the afternoon trial session by cross-examining former Chickasha Police Department detective Seth Thompson. He was the second witness called in the Timothy Young murder trial.

Clifton Lee Wilson was charged with first degree murder in March 2011 and pleaded not guilty. Young's decomposed body was found in his home by friends in Aug. 2010.

Hoch questioned Thompson in a calm, matter-of-fact voice, but appeared frustrated at times with the detective's answers. Thompson was the primary investigating agent in the case and in addition to interviewing witnesses and possible suspects was also responsible for compiling information and filing reports.

The defense attorney brought out that Thompson's information relied primarily on what someone else had told him.

Prosecutors presented photo exhibits showing Wilson in the process of placing a towel over an ATM camera. At issue had been the fact that Young's wallet, along with credit cards, were missing from his home.

Wilson told the detective that he had been walking near the machine and a man offered him $20 to block the machine because he was using an ex-girlfriend's card.

Through questioning Hoch established that Wilson's fingerprints were not found on a recovered ATM slip and Young's ATM card, wallet or keys were not found among Wilson's possessions.

Earlier testimony confirmed that Young's car was missing and Thompson confirmed that nothing was found in the car – blood, fingerprints, etc. – that would link Wilson to the car.

The ATM card had been apparently used three different times. At one drive-through ATM machine witnesses told the detective that they saw two men in a vehicle. One was a young, black man with a baseball cap on and the other a thin, white man with longer hair and probably under the age of 40.

Hoch also established that a ballcap was not found in Wilson's possessions.

In a redirect, the prosecution noted that white gloves had been booked into evidence and that Wilson had told Thompson that he had worn these gloves. Prosecutors asked Thompson that if if it were dark and a witness saw a white glove would they think it was a white man? Wilson is African-American.

Other afternoon testimony centered around Wilson's hands, due to injuries he may have sustained while working at Young's home. Young operated a furniture refinishing business from his house on the corner of 5th St. and Oregon Ave.

These injuries, reportedly from two separate incidents (a wood chipping machine and a ladder) could explain if Wilson's blood was found in the home. One scenario presented is that Wilson could have been searching for towels or a way to stop the bleeding from the injuries.

After Thompson stepped down from the stand, Francia Thompson from the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation was called to testify.

Photo exhibits from the home and the room where Young's body were shown again, as Francia noted what she saw when she was called to the scene the evening of Aug. 13, 2010.

She is a crime scene agent and the state asked her questions related to the blood found at the scene. Francia explained the difference between "cast-off, elongated blood" and what is called "90 degree blood," which consists of a round drop.

The crime scene agent said cast-off blood normally comes from an object in motion and that 90 degree blood is more of a drop. She testified that both were found at the scene.

In cross-examination, Hoch established that there was no way to establish a time lapse or frame of how long a drop of blood may have been there. She concurred.

Leah Edwards, assistant district attorney, asked Francia if any 90 degree drops had been found in the entryway or stairway leading up to the second floor and the agent said no.

Other afternoon witnesses included Glenna Laird, who is a volunteer cook at the Cornerstone Church soup kitchen and Chickasha Police officer Jeremy Alexander.

Laird testified that she had known Young for about eight to 10 years through church affiliations. They were in a Sunday school class together and Young occasionally volunteered at the soup kitchen.

Hoch established that Alexander had no direct involvement in the case at hand and was dismissed.

Testimony will resume at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

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