During the 11th day of the trial, defense counsel Katherine Ferguson again relied upon forensic experts to question the findings regarding evidence reached by their counterparts who had previously testified for the prosecution.
Following the reading of the charge and the presentation of closing arguments by both sides, the jury in the 354th District Court is expected to receive the case to begin deliberations by lunchtime Friday.
Brandon Woodruff, 22, has pleaded not guilty to one count of capital murder in connection with the deaths of Dennis and Norma Woodruff. Prosecutors have alleged Woodruff killed his mother and father inside their home near Royse City sometime after 9 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2005. Their bodies were found in the residence two days later.
Woodruff remains in custody in the Hunt County Jail. Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty as a punishment, should Woodruff be convicted of capital murder.
Thursday morning Ron Fazio, a forensic firearm examiner, took exception with the word “consistent” one prosecution expert used to describe a comparison between a bullet removed from the sofa on which the bodies of the victims were found and a bullet taken from a holster which used to hold a .45 caliber revolver which prosecutors have alleged may have been one of the murder weapons.
Fazio testified the two projectiles appeared similar, based on a photograph presented as evidence, but he could not say the bullets were identical or came from the same weapon, going only on the photo and the reports from the prosecution expert.
“You can’t say that scientifically,” Fazio said. “There’s no information collected.”
Fazio said he could neither agree nor disagree with the earlier testimony about the bullets.
“There would have to be a minimum amount of documentation available showing how he reached that conclusion,” Fazio said.
John B. Minor, a certified cell phone and GPS signals analyst, tracked the defendant’s telephone calls on the night prosecutors believe the victims were killed, showing a record of nine calls between 9:32 and 10:34 p.m., although none of those were reported to have been made by Woodruff.
On cross-examination, Minor admitted a call he showed as being placed by Woodruff’s former girlfriend to the defendant at 10:10 p.m., which lasted less than two minutes, actually only lasted seven seconds.
During the trial, Ferguson has been presenting evidence concerning another individual, with whom Brandon Woodruff reportedly had a falling out prior to the murders, implying the person was overlooked as a potential suspect in the case.
Minor also reviewed that individual’s telephone records and found that on each of the two days prior to the bodies of the victims being discovered, the individual placed less than two dozen calls. On Oct. 19, 2005, the day after the bodies of the victims were found, Minor said the individual placed 87 calls, including at least five to the Woodruff’s residence in which he kept his identity hidden from the victims’ Caller ID.