Focus shifts to witness in Domino's murder trial

August 2, 2012 5:26:59 PM PDT
On Thursday focus shifted from Travis Sherman, the man on trial for allegedly murdering a Knightdale Domino's Pizza manager to an expert witness.

Jurors continued to hear from CCBI agent Brian Hotchkiss who took photographs of the crime scene and processed several pieces of evidence for fingerprints. Hotchkiss spent the morning on the witness stand walking the jury through the crime scene using pictures, that at times were very bloody.

At one point during the testimony, the jury was placed in a holding room and everyone inside the courtroom learned that Hotchkiss has been suspended and is under investigation for alleged misconduct in an unrelated case.

When the jury was brought back into the courtroom, defense attorneys did not go into details on the suspension.  Instead, in cross-examination they decided to focus on how the crime scene was handled to try and discredit Hotchkiss's testimony.

When asked if officers cleared the area after it was requested, Hotchkiss said they did. When asked how long, he replied, ""I don't know an exact time, but it was maybe five or 10 minutes. They kind of filtered their way back in."

Defense attorneys also showed Hotchkiss a plastic bag that appeared to have blood on it. That bag, according to Hotchkiss, was not tested for DNA.

They also asked him about Bowers and why investigators did not search his car at the scene.

"I don't know if it was or was not searched, but it is something that, that normally is done," Hotchkiss said.

Sherman is one of two men charged with murder in the 2010 beating and robbery of 23-year-old Kenny Ring. Investigators believe Sherman and his close friend, Nico Bowers killed ring while he was working and stole $1,500 from the pizza place.

Bowers was a Domino's employee and worked as a delivery driver at the time of the murder.

Testimony will resume Monday at 9:30 a.m. at the Wake County Courthouse.

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