Computer expert testifies in Ken Bluew murder trial
Ogg in court opening a laundry bag containing Bluew's uniform.
Ken Bluew speaking with his defense attorney, Rod O'Farrell
SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -
The Ken Bluew murder trial has picked up where it left off last week following four days of testimony at the Saginaw County Courthouse.
Bluew, 37, a suspended Buena Vista Township police officer, is charged with first-degree murder in connection to the death of 32-year-old Jenny Webb, a pregnant woman who was found strangled to death near a police shooting range on Aug. 30, 2011.
The prosecution says the baby boy Webb was eight months pregnant with was Bluew's child.
TV5's Liz Gelardi tweeted that during opening statements, prosecutors said Bluew didn't want to pay child support, didn't want his wife to know about the situation and he didn't want a baby.
Following testimony at the Saginaw County Courthouse on Wednesday from several police officers, the director of Saginaw County's 911 service, Barry Nelson, took the stand on Thursday. Day three and day four also saw friends of Webb take the stand to talk about her mental state, and jurors also heard from her OB.
On Friday, the first witness on the stand was James Terry, Webb's boss. Terry testified that Webb was a quality employee who was very energetic. Terry said his nickname for her was "smiles." Terry told the jury that his reaction to Webb's death as being described as a suicide was, "Not Jenny Webb, not here, not now."
Friday also saw testimony from Kelly Guilbeaux, a friend of Webb's for 15 years. Guilbeaux told the jury Webb planned to put Bluew's name on the baby's birth certificate and go through the Friend of the Court for child support.
As testimony got under way Tuesday, members of the Michigan State Police investigative team took the stand. Det. Sgt. Allan Ogg took the stand and was questioned by the prosecution about the two police uniforms found in Bluew's truck. The prosecution showed photos of Bluew's vest and his patrol car on a television in court. Ogg testified that during their investigation, they found a book in Bluew's bag, an instructor's manual for pressure point control tactics. Ogg said Winston cigarettes were also found in Bluew's bag, the same type of cigarette that were also found at the scene of the crime.
Investigators also examined Bluew's patrol car computer as well as computers in the Buena Vista Township Police department. State Police also probed Bluew's home. Ogg said they found extension cords similar to the brown one discovered tied around Webb's neck and her SUV roof rails. Police said they also found one lone twist-tie in the drawer full of extension cords in Bluew's house. Authorities also said they seized two computers at Bluew's house in an attempt to locate the origin of the computer-generated suicide note found at Webb's murder scene.
The prosecution also showed a diagram in court of the crime scene, including a spot where blood and a piece of jewelry was found. State Police investigators testified that they took finger prints of Bluew and while doing so, noticed a bruise on his right index finger and tissue missing from a pad of a finger. Ogg said when Bluew was asked about his finger, he said he slammed it in a door. Ogg stood up in court and held up a laundry bag containing one of Bluew's uniforms. He then proceeded to remove everything from the bag. Ogg also showed off a uniform of Bluew's investigators said they found under the seat of his car.
The defense began cross examination of Ogg around 10 a.m. Defense Attorney Rod O'Farrell asked detectives if Bluew was being cooperative during the whole process. Ogg said overall, he was. O'Farrell asked if Bluew was immediately a suspect and Ogg responded, "In my mind, he was." O'Farrell went on to explain the source of Bluew's finger injuries to the jury - he was playing with his dog and wearing his glasses.
O'Farrell then asked Ogg about the handling of evidence, and asked if Ogg had worn gloves. Court then adjourned for lunch around 11:30 a.m. When it picked back up, Colleen Auer-Lemke with the Michigan State Police Computer Crimes Unit on the stand. Auer-Lemke described for jurors some technical computer definitions to explain how she does her work.
Auer-Lemke said she could not find the origin of the suicide note that was discovered at the crime scene. She testified that she examined several sources. Auer-Lemke then started to explain show she went through Webb's cell phone for evidence.
The computer expert said on the stand that someone used Bluew's computer to access WNEM.com on Sept. 1, and that whoever it was, was looking for information on Webb's "suspicious death." Auer-Lemke said she found temporary files on Bluew's computer from WNEM and MLive. The computer expert said she also found a program designed to clean the hard drive on a computer.
The State Police Computer Crimes unit said they found Internet search history for ways to commit suicide, and different methods to do so. The searches were done between July 1 and Aug. 23. The computer expert testified that they found searches for how to slit wrists and searches for the most painless ways to commit suicide. Auer-Lemke said those suicide searches took place on Bluew's computer between Aug. 16 and 17th, 2011. Webb was found dead of what police initially suspected was a suicide on Aug. 30.
Court then took a break around 3:30 p.m. so that Bleuw's attorney can get notes from his office.
When it got back into session, the computer expert testified about web searches that found a how-to guide of strangulation and hanging one's self. The expert said Bluew's computer had 61 hits for restraint and carotid. It also turned up searches for how long it takes for someone to die from carotid artery compression. Auer-Lemke said Bluew's in-car patrol computer showed he viewed burglary reports about Webb's house.
Auer-Lemke said Bluew also used his in-car police computer to access a report about a "suspicious death" involving Jennifer Webb.
Stay with WNEM.com and TV5 all day as we cover the Ken Bluew murder trial.
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