Fingerprints, Photos Main Topics In Day 20 Of Mike Peterson Trial
Posted July 30, 2003
Updated December 9, 2006
DURHAM, N.C. — Jurors looked at more photos of the scene on the night of Kathleen Peterson's death and heard testimony from a fingerprint expert in day 20 of the Mike Peterson trial.
Mike Peterson is charged with the death of his wife, Kathleen. Joyce Petzka, a fingerprint expert with the State Bureau of Investigation, testified that the only fingerprints found on the two wine glasses and wine bottle on the kitchen counter of the home belonged to Mike Peterson.
Defense attorneys have stated the couple was drinking wine and celebrating the night Kathleen Peterson died. Prosecutors believe Peterson may have staged the scene after he killed his wife.
Petzka also told the jury that Mike Peterson's shoeprint was also found on the back of his wife's calf.
"[It] had the same design, had the same size of the elements of the design and the same general wear," she said.
The impression left was so distinct Petzka said it more likely happened from a downward motion, rather than side-to-side.
Another SBI agent testified that a test revealed traces of blood were found on one of the shoes. In previous testimony, other witnesses have testified Peterson was barefoot when officers arrived at the house. His shoes and bloody socks were found on the floor near Kathleen Peterson's body.
During cross-examination, David Rudolf, Peterson's main defense attorney, cautioned jurors not to read too much into the shoeprint on the sweatpants.
"You can't tell exactly how that happened, right?" Rudolf asked Petzka.
"Right," Petzka said.
"Or when it happened?" Rudolf said.
"Correct," Petzka said.
Earlier in the day, jurors saw more photos of the Petersons' house on the night of Kathleen's death. Jurors also saw photos of Kathleen Peterson's body sprawled on the stairway and looked at her blood-stained clothes.
A DNA expert is expected to take the stand Wednesday.