Home > Crime > Cesar Laurean Day 5 of Testimony

Cesar Laurean Day 5 of Testimony


Well, after a very, very frustrating morning, the feed was finally restored about 2:30pm, in the middle of the DNA testimony, yesterday.

Sharon Hinton testified that swabs from the Laurean garage floor, a tan pillow, pool raft, etc all had Maria’s DNA.  Interestingly, the supposed murder weapon – crowbar – did not contain Laurean’s DNA.

Much as Maria’s credit card had probably been wiped of prints, apparently Laurean was careful enough to wipe the crowbar.

Mary Lauterbach took the stand and spoke of her closeness to her daughter.  She also related how she often told Maria to give up her baby for adoption as she couldn’t give the baby what it needed.  This created pressure and stress for Maria.

Mary Lauterbach testifies

She admitted that Maria ‘sometimes’ lied, but it wasn’t constant.

The defense really went after Maria’s mental stability based on previous statements Mary made to a number of investigators.

I was not a big fan of Mary after listening to her on the stand, but I was amazed at the number of folks who said they were reminded of Cindy Anthony with the passive-aggressive tendencies.  Mary was a whole lot about, ‘me’, ‘me’, ‘me’!

Mary may be back on the stand today and the ME still needs to testify and that should pretty much wrap-up the State’s Case In Chief!

Court begins at, or should I say the FEED began at 9:37!

State calls Steven Kling, FBI Supervisory Special Agent in Mexico.  He was assigned to locate Laurean in Mexico.  80% of his time is searching for US fugitives.  He doesn’t have arrest power, but has diplomatic powers working with Mexican police.

Laurean was captured in a small town several hours from the US border.  The located a pay phone that Laurean used to contact his family as well as a cyber café that Laurean utilized.

April 9 he and 6 Mexican officers split up and staked-out a number of cyber cafes.

On the 10th they saw Laurean walking down the street and they picked him up.  They also recognized the Phoenix tattoo on Laurean’s arm.  Mexican authorities placed him under arrest.

Kling identifies a photo of Laurean taken in the Mexican jail, flanked by two Mexican officers.  He also identifies Laurean in court.

Kling escorted Laurean back to the US in 2009, a year after the arrest.

McNeil asks if Kling was involved with information to locate Laurean.  Yes.

It was internet and phone calls back to Jacksonville, NC?  Yes.

Kling is released.

Jury sent out so some housekeeping issues can be addressed.

They are discussing the autopsy photos and are trying to come to an agreement as to which ones will be shown to the jury and entered into evidence.

McNeill wants to go over the photos outside the presence of the jury and the Judge asks to see them first.

Dr. Thomas B. Clark, III, MD is called to discuss the photos to identify the ones needed to assist with the testimony and the ones that aren’t needed.

Mary and Anne are weeping.

McNeil objects to all the photos.

Judge over rules and says they are relevant even though graphic and disturbing.

They also discuss a stipulation that was reached as to the identification of the body that the Judge will read to the jury.

10:15 the jury returns.

Judge reads the stipulation that says Maria was identified by dental records.  DNA specimens also used to identify her remains.

Dr. Thomas B. Clark is sworn in.  He performed the autopsy on Maria.

He goes through his extensive CV and is accepted as an expert witness.

The autopsy was performed at Chapel Hill with 4 other physicians present.

Maria’s body was charred and decomposed.  There was also a bag with some baby clothes.  Another bag with a fetal hand and another with dirt.

Because of the burned away flesh, tissue, and bones, they could not accurately determine weight and height.

They observed multiple skull fractures on the left side of the head around the ear area.

Maria’s throat was cut with a knife, probably post-mortem.

Other injuries were noted at the base of the skull once the skull was removed.  The front and back halves of the skull were separated by fracture.

The cause of death was blunt force injury.  Clark said these types of injury required a great deal of force.

Dr. Clark examines the crowbar and said he believes the crowbar could have caused the injuries.

Time of death could not be determined because the body had been burned and buried for a length of time, but he could believe the death could have occurred December 14th based on the condition of the body.

Clark identifies the autopsy photos and they are introduced as evidence.

Hudson has Clark approach the jury to show and describe each of the photos.  The final photo is of the fetus.

I imagine many of the jurors are having a tough time with this!

Other than it was a fetus, Clark couldn’t tell much more than that because it was charred and decomposed.

Hudson shows a photo of the fetal hand that Clark identifies.

Clark shows the jury a photo of Maria in the fire pit and indicates he sees part of the skull and ribs.

Clark says that after the blow, Maria may have lived a matter of a few minutes, at the most.

McNeil asks about the autopsy report.  The report is based on the results of the autopsy?  That’s correct.

The wound to the neck didn’t case any life threatening injury?  Correct.

It occurred after death?  It appeared that way, but we can’t say for certain.

Could the death occur on December 21, the 28th?  Yes it could have.

So, it could be a two-week period?  Yes because it was cold and over that time the body wouldn’t have changed much.

Dr. Clark is excused.

The photos are published to the jury.

Dewey Hudson stands and says the State rests!

McNeil wants robbery with a weapon removed for no evidence present.  Also says that yes, there is proof Laurean went to the ATM, but he had the pin number.

Robbery scenario would make it aggravated murder!

Judge denies!

McNeil presents a stipulation to be read first thing this afternoon.  It says that Laurean cannot biologically be determined as the child’s father.

Judge approves.

McNeil indicates that he believed the defense would begin Thursday, but he was able to get two witnesses here for the afternoon.

Court recesses til 2pm when the defense will begin!  Also looks like they will end early today – witnesses not available today?

2pm court resumes with the Judge reading the stipulation that Laurean’s DNA proves he is not the biological father of the child.

Cpl. Viviana Martinez is called by the defense.  She has served in the Marines for 4 years.  She knew Maria from them being roommates in 2007.

Did you ever talk to her about keeping the child?  Yes.

Sometimes she wanted to give the baby up?  Yes.

Sometimes she wanted to keep it?  Yes.

Were you aware that she thought Cesar Laurean was the father?  Yes.

Did you know there was a protective order?  Yes.

Did you ever see them together?  No.

No questions from the State.

Defense calls Cpl. Taina Robles.  She has been in the Marines for 4 years.

She knew Maria from boot camp.  They worked in the same section at LeJeuen.

Maria told her Mary was against her keeping the child.

Maria was upset after a call from her mother where the argued about keeping the baby.

Did you know about the allegation against Laurean?  Yes.

Did you know Laurean?  I knew of him.

Did you know Lauterbach’s reputation as to truthfulness?  Yes.

What was that?  She was a habitual liar.

State has no questions.

There are no other witnesses available so court wraps up at 2:15

Have a great day!

  1. Ritanita
    08/18/2010 at 2:36 pm

    Gee, what took you so long? LOL! Thanks for the summary. Let’s hope the feed holds out for the remainder of the trial.

    If I were Christina, I would not be happy to be the defense “Some other dudette did it”. Her husband cheated on her and added misery to their marriage. If she had nothing to do with the murder, she should never have supported him when he fled. If she had something to do with the aftermath, such as the clean-up, she should have gotten immunity and sung her heart out on the witness stand.

    But if it had been me, I’d have called LE the moment I knew what was going on and filed divorce papers pronto!

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