LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Holley Nees - email
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – Kimberly O'Quinn's family wishes more had been done when Jarrard Holland was arrested for he shooting death of his then-girlfriend.
"I wish they'd done a better job of collecting evidence, but you know things happen and you deal with what you got," said Gary Potter, who is O'Quinn's stepfather.
Testimony continued Wednesday morning in Judge Paul White's courtroom for Jarrard Holland. Holland is being retried for the 2004 shooting death of his then-girlfriend Kimberly O'Quinn.
Holland was tried for O'Quinn's murder back in October 2007. The five-day trial ended with a hung jury. O'Quinn was found with a gunshot wound to the head, gasping for air at a home where the couple lived on Tom Hampton Road in Pollok. Holland told authorities O'Quinn committed suicide.
"It does frustrate me because I can look myself, this is the second time I've sat through, where a lot more could've been done, but nevertheless it wasn't, so we'll just have to take what we can get and go from there," said O'Quinn's grandfather, John Riley O'Quinn.
There are missing pieces in the investigation and the defense is now calling their witnesses.
"That's in life, we don't get everything we ask for, but I'll take it," John Riley O'Quinn said. "Whatever the jury comes out with, I'll accept it, I think justice will be done."
EDITORS' NOTE: Holley Nees covered the trial and provided live accounts today at KTRE.com. Following is her account.
A Texas Ranger discussed the interview he conducted with an Angelina County man accused of killing his 21-year-old girlfriend six years ago.
Texas Ranger Pete Maskunas testified he was teaching a class at Angelina College when he met Derek Dolan. Dolan apparently told Maskunas he knew the defendant.
Dolan, Holland's former co-worker, testified earlier in the trial Holland told him the then-couple got into an argument and, "… [O'Quinn] had stated that she was going to kill herself…[Holland] said they were wrestling over the firearm, it went off and it shot her."
Maskunas said he asked Dolan to come to his office and give a statement.
Stephanie Stephens, an attorney on Holland's defense team, questioned Maskunas at length about his tactics when he interviewed Holland.
"Do you go to a class on how to lie to people that you're interviewing or is that something that you came up with on your own," asked Stephens.
"We're instructed to establish a rapport," explained Maskunas.
She questioned Maskunas about why he told Holland they knew he had gunshot residue on his hands. Maskunas said that's what he believed at the time.
"There were a number of times where Jarrard tried to answer your questions and you just kept talking," said Stephens.
"I was very interested in getting his information," said Maskunas. He testified he did not try to intimidate Holland during the interview.
"[Holland] maintained the same story he has told all along," said Maskunas.
He told Stephens, "I wanted [Holland] to tell me the truth."
Stephens continued pressing Maskunas about lying to Holland in the interview and the way he handled his portion of the investigation.
"Ma'am I don't have a personal stake in this case," Maskunas said. "It is part of my job to do a thorough investigation…That's my job to find justice."
"I believe there was a more likely chance that Jarrard had committed the crime than not," said Maskunas.
Angelina County District Attorney Clyde Herrington questioned Maskunas about the consistency of Holland's statements. Maskunas said Holland's story did vary between what he told investigators and what he told other witnesses.
Maskunas testified Holland said O'Quinn fell straight down. "[Holland] said the gun was underneath her," said Maskunas.
The state called Smith County Sheriff's Office Crime Scene Detective Nole Martin to the stand to testify about his experience investigating major crime scenes.
Martin was asked to review several items of physical evidence from the March 2004 scene. Martin told the jury he would've liked investigators to have done more things at the Pollok crime scene six years ago.
Martin explained to jurors the procedure he normally performs when he suspects a crime has occurred. He said usually he secures the scene, photographically documents and video tapes it, conducts a walk-through, marks items of evidence, photographs them again, and conducts blood stain pattern analysis.
He said, although each crime is different, he would've liked to see more photographs of the scene and fingerprints of the rifle and other items that had been moved or touched.
"Fingerprints are valuable in placing individuals at particular locations," he said. "It establishes somebody's presence in a place they have no right to be."
Herrington asked Martin about fingerprinting specific items at the Pollok crime scene. He said, for example, there's not enough surface area on a phone cord to establish a good fingerprint.
Martin said there are several things that can be learned from blood patterns.
"Are you able to tell in some instances, what caused a particular blood splatter," asked Herrington. "Yes," replied Martin.
The state had asked Martin to examine blood stains in the Holland case.
The defense objected is hasn't been established that the stains are in fact blood.
"There's no confusing blood with another material," explained Martin.
Martin walked the jury through a series of photos from the crime scene describing blood spatter patterns on several objects in the bedroom.
He pointed out a spent .22 shell casing, a white cloth with blood on it, a pool of blood on the floor, a large blood stain on the edge of the table, and blood stains on the mini-blinds.
"[The blood stains] were probably, in my opinion, occurred as a result of the table cloth coming in contact with the mini blind at some point," explained Martin. "There is a large saturation-type blood stain or pool of blood on the surface of the carpet."
He explained a saturation blood pattern is nothing more than free-flowing blood that accumulates after an amount of time has passed.
Martin was able to identify specific blood stain patterns on the wall which he said show directionality of the blood.
"An impact pattern is a result of an event, in this particular case, a gunshot wound," said Martin.
"The pool of blood indicates that is where the bleeding wound was," said Martin looking at another photograph.
He said the probable point of origin would be in between the wall, the bed, and below the surface of the bed.
He said the source of the blood pattern on one wall of the trailer and a blood pool on the floor would be the gunshot wound. He said O'Quinn's head would've been located on or near the floor.
"Those are blood stains located on the barrel of the rifle," Martin said he thought the blood belonged to the victim.
He said the pictures indicate the gunshot barrel was "near contact or contact" with the victim.
Family members tearfully watched as a photo of the victim's gunshot wound was displayed.
"The tablecloth has a large saturation-type blood stain on its surface," Martin said. "The only thing, in this case, with that much volume would be the victim herself…The tablecloth would've had to become blood-soaked while in contact with the victim."
Martin said stains on the mini-blinds indicate the tablecloth would've had to come in contact with the blinds.
The witness also examined clothing of both the suspect and the defendant.
"There are blood stains on the shirt," said Martin holding up a shirt collected by investigators.
"It has a flow to it, it's pretty much confined to one area," explained Martin. "It's not moving down the shirt."
He said there were also a couple stains on the sleeves of the shirt. He concluded the victim would have been in a down position.
Martin said, in his opinion, at the time O'Quinn suffered the gunshot wound she was on the floor.
Martin told the jury he didn't think the story Holland told investigators was accurate.
"The evidence did not support that scenario, no," said Martin.
"I didn't find any evidence to support a self-inflicted gunshot wound, no," Martin told jurors.