Attorneys focused on bullet trajectory Friday in the murder trial of a former Northern Arizona University student Steven Jones.
Colin Brough was killed in the October 2015 campus shooting.
[Special section: NAU shooting]
One startling moment in court Friday came when ballistic expert Terrence Weaver of the DPS crime lab held up the gun used in the NAU shootings, for the jury to see.
Also on Friday, county medical examiner Dr. Lawrence Czarnecki testified about details gathered as he performed Brough’s autopsy.
Czarnecki said one bullet went through Brough’s chest, and a second bullet went through his shoulder. He testified both bullets entered the body, and traveled down and back through the torso. Prosecutors and defense attorneys presented different theories to explain the trajectory.
The prosecution suggested Jones was somehow standing above Brough when he fired, whether Jones was taller or standing on an incline.
“That would affect the possibilities of trajectory,” said Czarnecki.
The defense seized on this point to bolster their argument that Jones fired out of self-defense when he was confronted by a group of students outside a campus party. Lawyers for Jones suggested Brough was leaning forward to lunge at Jones, and Jones fired as a result.
The defense asked if cuts and bruises on Brough’s body could support their theory that Brought continued to lean and then fall forward after being shot.
“Due to contact with the ground after he fell, yes,” answered Czarnecki.
Czarnecki testified he did not find defensive wounds on Brough’s hands or evidence of gun powder on the skin from an effect called stippling. While prosecutors would suggest Brough’s hands were at his sides when the gun went off, the defense would argue the possibility that Brough’s hands extended past the gun’s muzzle, close enough to touch Jones.
“Again these are possibilities I cannot rule out,” says Czarnecki.
Jurors submitted a lot of questions for clarity on the bullet trajectory, but Czarnecki said he could not make an opinion on which scenario presented by the attorneys was more likely.
[READ MORE: 2 friends of Jones testify in NAU shooting trial]
Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.