PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — 4:30 p.m. Court is adjourned until 9 a.m. Tuesday morning.
3:30 p.m. The state has rested its case after the medical examiners testimony. Hartung’s defense team has called Wiccan minister Paul Larsen to the witness stand. The minister stated that if Hartung killed his family because he was practicing a sacrifice within the Wiccan religion, the bodies wouldn’t have been found covered with blankets. The point of sacrifice in the Wiccan religion, the minister said, is to offer whatever is sacrificed to the “divine.”
2 p.m. Richard’s autopsy photos showed a gunshot wound through his ear, tunneling through his skin and exiting outside the back of his head. Minyard testified this might not have killed him right away.
A stab wound to Richard’s neck could have paralyzed him from the waist down, Minyard said. The wound to his neck is what killed him, Minyard said.
1:41 p.m. — Bonnie Smith’s autopsy photos show wounds to her head, a large cut in her neck and a “traumatically amputated” pinky. Minyard testified the blunt force trauma to Bonnie’s head is her cause of death.
1:35 p.m. — The state has just presented autopsy photos of John Smith. John Smith had a circular wound on the top of his head. Minyard said this wound resembled the tip of the hammer. He also had a wound that resembled the claw of the hammer. John Smith also had a stab wound to the left side of his neck.
Minyard testified the combined impact of a knife wound to his neck and blunt force trauma to his head killed him, according to Minyard.
1:10 p.m. — The state has called forensic pathologist Andrea Minyard. Minyard is the former chief medical examiner for District One, which includes Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton Counties. She performed the autopsy on Bonnie, Richard and John Smith.
11:45 a.m. Michael Griffith, Hartung’s lead defense attorney, is questioning Wilkerson. Wilkerson stated Hartung’s DNA was found on the latch of his mother’s purse. After being questioned, Wilkerson says there’s another person’s DNA on the hammer’s handle. Wilkerson cannot say who transferred that DNA onto the handle.
10:20 a.m. — Donald Hartung’s DNA was found on the RT’s checkbook, Wilkerson testified. Donald Hartung’s DNA was also found on five cigarettes that were in a trash can in the Smith family home. One of the cigarettes had Bonnie Smith’s DNA on it, Wilkerson testified, and the presence of blood.
10:04 a.m. — Wilkerson testified Donald Hartung’s DNA was found on the inside of RT Smith’s belt. Hartung’s DNA was also found on the handle of Bonnie Smith’s purse.
9:54 a.m. — The state has called Jennifer Wilkerson, a crime scene analyst with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Wilkerson testified there was a presence of blood on the hammer the state alleges is one of Hartung’s murder weapons. Wilkerson added there was DNA from Bonnie, John, RT and Hartung on the hammer. Wilkerson stated blood found on the kitchen sink faucet handle was positive for Bonnie Smith’s blood.
9 a.m. The triple murder trial of Donald Hartung will continue Monday. Hartung is accused of killing his mother and two brothers in July 2015.
The prosecution believes he killed his family so he would be entitled to his mother Bonnie’s estate. More witness testimony should occur Monday morning, including testimony by a medical examiner.
Hartung is accused of beating his mother and brother, John, in the head with a hammer, before slitting their throats. The state says Hartung shot his brother RT in the head, before also slitting his throat. Stay tuned to News 5 and WKRG.com for updates throughout the day.
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