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June 10, 2014

Jurors expected to deliberate in murder trial

NORMAN — District Judge Thad Balkman told a jury of eight females and four males that he hoped deliberation would begin today for a first-degree murder trial that began last week in Cleveland County District Court.

Several witnesses were called Monday by state prosecutors Susan Caswell and Christy Miller to testify, including Oklahoma City Police Department officers and analysts and a state medical examiner who performed the victim’s autopsy.

Defendant Eddie Thompson, 35, was charged with first-degree murder, two counts of kidnapping and first-degree burglary with Loretta Hawks and Sebastian Shepherd.

Crime Scene Investigator Everett Baxter slipped on white latex gloves as he removed a serrated knife from an evidence envelope and slowly flipped the blade out as he was questioned about the weapon Monday morning. The knife was found in the victim’s, Arthur Strozewski’s, home after he suffered multiple stab wounds Aug. 31, 2012.

Baxter helped process evidence for the investigation, which included responding to the morgue and processing Strozewski’s body. While he was there, he took photos and collected evidence, which included documenting various injuries on the victim’s body.

Several weeks before the trial, prosecutors Caswell and Miller contacted Baxter, showing him the knife that had been found in the residence. When asked to compare the knife with injuries on Strozewski’s body, Baxter said two areas on the body appeared to be consistent with a serrated weapon.

Baxter also processed a 2004 white Buick, taking pictures and searching the interior of the vehicle. The vehicle was seen near Strozewski’s home on video footage from a neighbor’s security camera before and after the homicide was believed to have occurred, Det. Ryan Porter testified.

Porter was the first homicide detective to arrive on scene and took lead as the scene investigator as his partner, Det. David Jacobson, interviewed witnesses. Porter went through the home at 9305 Winston Way to process the scene and collect evidence after obtaining a search warrant. Nothing seemed to be out of place or moved around downstairs, he said, but things upstairs were different.

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