Blood specimens recovered from the Sackets Harbor apartment of Darron S. and Sherry L. Morris could have come only from the couple, a forensic scientist testified Wednesday in Jefferson County Court.
But Kristine Robinson, a scientist with the state polices Forensic Investigation Center, Albany, conceded under cross-examination by Mr. Morriss defense attorney, Eric T. Swartz, that her DNA testing could not rule out the possibility that there may have been a third person in the apartment, who was not bleeding.
Mr. Morris, 43, is on trial, charged with second-degree attempted murder and other counts for allegedly shooting his wife with a pistol Aug. 4, 2010, during a domestic dispute at their Madison Barracks apartment. Mr. Morris allegedly also threatened police as they rescued Mrs. Morris and then engaged in a five-hour standoff with police, at some point shooting himself in the head.
Mr. Swartz, Watertown, has suggested throughout the trial that there may have been someone else in the apartment in the aftermath of the shootings. Several members of law enforcement agencies have testified that they observed a male pacing in the apartment carrying a long gun, but a subsequent search of the residence revealed no rifle. Mr. Swartz has suggested someone may have left the apartment unnoticed, although officers have testified the residence was surrounded and one officer familiar with Mr. Morris said he recognized his voice as he refused to leave his home.
Prosecutors have introduced a long, dark cylindrical curtain rod and a walking stick found in the apartment as evidence and officers have said, given the dim lighting and obstructed views of the apartments interior, those items could have been mistaken for a rifle.
Ms. Robinson testified that through her DNA testing, she was able to determine that it would be virtually statistically impossible a 1 in 300 billion chance for blood recovered from the apartments foyer to match anyone other than Mrs. Morris. Responding law enforcement found her lying in a large pool of blood in the common area of her building, just outside her apartment door. The scientist testified that the remaining blood samples found in the apartments kitchen, bedroom and bathroom belonged to Mr. Morris.
Jurors also heard Wednesday that a bullet retrieved from Mr. Morriss head was fired from a handgun recovered in the apartment and three shell casings found in the residence had been discharged from the same gun. Mr. Swartz and Senior Assistant District Attorney Aaron D. Carr stipulated that the gun was used in each shooting, making it unnecessary for a ballistics expert to testify to the fact.
The attorneys also stipulated that Mrs. Morris suffered multiple gunshot wounds to her body that caused her to be paralyzed from the chest down, thus negating the need for two physicians to testify as to the seriousness of her injuries.
Testimony is scheduled to resume Friday morning with Mrs. Morris taking the witness stand. Judge Kim H. Martusewicz told jurors to expect to begin deliberations Friday afternoon.