Stockley Trial Day 3: Dropped gun contained officer DNA
The third day of testimony has concluded in the high-profile murder trial of ex-St. Louis Police Officer Jason Stockley.
Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said the state was on the verge of resting its case, but that there were still pending decisions and motions that need to be ruled on.
That outstanding business is expected to be addressed early next week. Once the state officially wraps its case, the defense is expected to begin calling witnesses.
So far, 18 witnesses and more than 100 exhibits have been presented to the court since the trial began this past Tuesday.
Stockley is charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action for the December 2011 shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith, 24.
The deadly encounter followed a suspected drug deal involving Smith and a high-speed police chase in parts of north St. Louis.
Dr. Karen Preiter, a DNA analyst with St. Louis Police, was the last state witness to testify on Thursday afternoon.
She said there was a partial DNA profile matching Stockley located on the trigger, grip and rough area of a 38mm Taurus revolver recovered from the shooting scene.
She said his DNA profile was also found on a screw in the revolver. She said no DNA profile matching Smith was found on the weapon.
It’s an important piece of evidence for the state’s case, as prosecutors have alleged the firearm was planted by Stockley following the shooting.
The ex-cop is seen on video going back and forth between Smith’s car and the duty bag located in the back of his department SUV on the scene. Prosecutors have even alleged Stockley blocked a back seat internal camera with his body as he removed something from the bag.
Preiter said the chances of finding another Caucasian person with the same profile are 1/200 billion and 1/10 trillion for an African-American person.
Stockley was also the “major contributor” for DNA recovered on his personal AK47 that was recovered from the scene. Prosecutors said Stockley used the firearm when he first fired upon Smith’s vehicle in the parking lot of a Church’s Chicken following the suspected drug deal that prompted the chase.
During cross-examination, defense attorneys alleged Stockley’s DNA was on the gun because he “rendered it safe” by unloading it on the scene.
They’ve said previously that no department policy in 2011 barred Stockley from entering or re-entering a vehicle that was involved an officer-involved shooting.
The defense has also claimed that it’s possible to touch something and not leave DNA. They believe the gun belonged to Smith and was one reason why Stockley was in fear of his life.
Earlier in the day, an FBI gunshot residue expert testified one of the five shots that killed Smith was fired within “six inches” of his body. Prosecutors have described it as a “kill shot.”