ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – Day two of the trial for the man accused of murdering St. Louis County Officer Blake Snyder began with a crime scene detective taking the stand.
During the Tuesday morning testimony, the first to take the stand was the detective who took photographs of Trenton Forster’s car and of the fallen officer during his autopsy.
During the testimony, the detective talked about finding a box of ammunition in the glove box of the suspect’s car, a magazine for a 9mm semi-automatic by itself between the console and front driver’s side seat, and a spent shell casing in the back seat on the floor. The detective also showed the .22 rifle that was found in Forster’s trunk, along with pictures of the shattered driver’s side window and bullet holes in Forster’s car.
Opening statements took place Monday morning in the trial of a man accused of murdering an on-duty St. Louis County officer in 2016.
The second person called to testify was the medical examiner who did the autopsy on Officer Snyder.
During the testimony, photos were shown of Officer Snyder’s body when it first arrived, when he still had on a hospital gown and a breathing tube. Then, x-rays were shown of Officer Snyder’s jaw, which was broken from the gunshot.
According to officials, Officer Snyder was shot once and the bullet broke his jaw and severed a carotid artery. Photos were also shown in court of the carotid artery and the hole that was in it.
The bullet was reportedly taken out of Officer Snyder’s left upper back.
While the autopsy photos were shown, News 4’s Russell Kinsaul said some in the courtroom tucked their heads down, while others glanced and then quickly looked away. Officer Snyder’s widow, Elizabeth, had her brother’s arm around her and her body was shaking, according to Kinsaul, who was in the courtroom during the testimony.
During the second half of the morning, testimony began with a firearms expert from the St. Louis County Crime Lab. The expert concluded that the bullet found in Officer Snyder's back matched the 9mm weapon Forster used. In addition, he said, two shell casings were recovered that matched Forster's weapon.
The expert then testified that it's believed when Forster fired a second round, his gun jammed. The gun was then unable to fire anymore.
When the expert was cross examined by the defense, the point was made that someone may shoot with a "limp-wristed shooting," essentially raising doubt about where the shell casing would have landed. The issue was then raised that it is unknown when the shell casings were fired based on where they were found.
The expert also spoke about how guns work and the components of the cartridge.
A DNA expert later testified that Forster's DNA was found in several places on the gun, including the handle and trigger and said reddish stains were found on Forster's car and shirt, presumably blood that contained the DNA of Officer Snyder.
Prosecutors say Forster was obsessed with getting guns and ammo days before the shooting. Two days before Forster killed Snyder, a Walmart clerk says he came into buy ammo.
The clerk says Forster looked suspicious and did not want to sell him the ammo but a manager told him to sell him the ammo anyway.
A forensics technician who examined Forster's cell phone said there were photos of him with guns and a message threatening violence. During the period of a little more than month, there were 130 online searches about guns and several text messages claiming after Forster got one that he would kill everybody.
Defense attorney Stephen Reynolds cross-examined the technician to show Forster was in a dark place mentally. In one text, Forster told someone that he was "dying inside."