Police investigation called into question at murder trial
Prosecutors continued building their first-degree murder case against 24-year-old Charles Weimer Thursday with testimony from Lawton Police Department detectives who collected evidence and conducted interviews pertaining to the Jan. 24, 2012, death of John Paul Gonzalez Jr., but the court recessed early for Comanche County District Court Judge Emmit Tayloe to fully consider whether the medical examiner will testify.
Dr. Inas Yacoub, who determined the 2-year-old died from blunt force trauma during an act of homicide, was called by Assistant District Attorney Irma Newburn late Thursday, but defense attorneys Gerald Lee and James Hankins objected, as promised. The defense team has continually challenged the state's ability to present Yacoub's lab report as evidence due to the fact the Oklahoma State Office of the Medical Examiner lost its National Association of Medical Examiner's accreditation in 2009 an issue Newburn argues has already been thoroughly considered and ruled upon. The state's cross-examination of LPD Detectives Chuck Miller and Gerry Vallejo Thursday partially highlighted the report's vitality.
Vallejo was first to testify about photographs he took of Gonzalez Jr.'s injuries, which he witnessed at the hospital, and evidence collected from the apartment complex, 1127 E. Gore, where Weimer said the child fell down a flight of stairs. In multiple photographs, a bruise is visible on the 2-year-old's abdomen as well as a bump on his forehead.