Since he was found by neighbors, crying and disoriented, Boychuk hasmaintained that he and his 31-year-old wife, Karen, were struck by ahit-and-run driver as they walked along a dark and foggy Cary Parkway onNew Year's Eve of 1995. Bill Boychuk said the impact knocked his wife offa bridge and knocked him to the ground, rendering him unconscious.
But paramedics called by the prosecution Tuesday said they observedvery minor injuries -- mainly cuts and scrapes -- on Bill Boychuk.Emergency room physician Dr. Joseph William agreed with paramedics. Hesays there were no lacerations, hematomas, or other medical evidence tosupport Boychuk's claim.
Prosecutors contend that Boychuk threw his wife off the bridge, thenwalked to where his wife lay injured and inflicted four fatal blows to herskull. They plan to support that theory with evidence later in theweek.
But Boychuk's attorney, Roger Smith, told jurors in opening statementsMonday that Karen and Bill Boychuk were struck by a hit-and-run driverand that Bill Boychuk tried to help his wife.
Investigator Sydney Johnson of the City-County Bureau of Identificationnegates that claim. His investigation found absolutely no skid marks,human tissue, glass, rubber, or other remnants of a car making contactwith the Boychuks on the Cary Parkway bridge.
Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty for Boychuk ifhe is convicted of first-degree murder.
Smith said in opening statements Monday that his client was knockedunconscious by a hit-and-run driver,accounting for the time lapse between the time that Karen Boychuk was injured,about 7 p.m., and the time that her husband went to get help, about 8:30or 9 p.m.
"He got up to help his wife," Smith told jurors. "His arm and leg werehurting badly."
One of the first witnesses called Monday was Thomas Austin, a neighborwhofound Bill Boychuk on the sidewalk, crying and disoriented, saying thathe and Karen had been struck by a car. Austin scrambled down an embankmentand approached Karen Boychuk's body cautiously. She showed no signs oflife and Austin said he feared the worst.
Karen Boychuk's body was found 40 feet below the bridge, on a greenway.At the time of her death, she was four months pregnant.
Police suspected foul play from the start because it was clear she hadbeen hit in the head, as well as badly hurt by the fall.
Neighbors told police the couple fought frequently. They had marriedin July 1995 after dating a few months. One neighbor told police she hearda woman scream about the time the Boychuks were out walking.
Karen Boychuk, 31, was a lawyer who grew up in Wilson. Her husband,33 at the time of his wife's death, was a graduate student in the UNC-ChapelHill business school. They lived at the Hermitage at Beechtree apartments.
According to Smith, the Boychuks met when he responded to her personalad in The Independent, and he proposed to her about a month later.