Jurors view alleged murder weapon in Delmer Smith trial

ejohnson@bradenton.comAugust 6, 2012 

Jurors viewed a 23-pound, antique Singer sewing machine made of cast iron as they left the courtroom during a recess Monday afternoon. The cast iron machine, used to kill Kathleen Briles, was entered into evidence by the state.

Two crime scene technicians and the Manatee County Sheriff’s Crime Scene Unit manager testified Monday afternoon to processing evidence in the death of Kathleen Briles.

Richard Talbot, crime scene unit manager, said when he arrived about 9 p.m. at the Briles home, he first observed Kathleen Briles’ vehicle. He said the car was unlocked and the windows were up. There was a purse and Publix receipt in the front passenger seat.

Groceries were in the trunk. He said perishable items “appeared to be wet as if they had been sweating.” Talbot also discussed blood stain patterns at the scene.

He said there was blood on the floor and around Briles’ head, neck and chest.

“Looking at the types of stains that are here, the point of origin is going to be very close to the ground,” Talbot said while pointing to a photo on a projector screen that showed blood on the sewing machine and couch at the scene.

Talbot also photographed Dr. Briles, who had blood on his hands and necktie, at the scene.

He said he and other detectives also processed a Chevrolet Blazer, owned by Smith at the time of Briles’ death, but no blood was found in the vehicle.

Adrianne Walls, technician, processed physical evidence at the Briles’ home. Walls said she saw the victim laying on her back in the living room with duct tape around her ankles, wrists and neck.

Walls also said she processed a medical encyclopedia, which was stolen from the home and connected with Smith. Walls said 12 prints were taken from the book and sent to the fingerprint unit for processing.

Grace Givens, former crime scene technician, was present for Briles’ autopsy.

Givens said the only jewelry worn by Briles was a pair of earrings. The medical examiner removed duct tape from Briles’ body, Givens said, which she took to process.

Givens said there was no ridge detail on the sticky side of the tape.

Blood, consistent with five fingers, were transferred to Briles’ chest and leg, but Givens said no finger prints were lifted.

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