Jury shown autopsy photos as murder trial continues
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BLACKFOOT — The murder trial for Melonie Smith, 48, continued Thursday, as jurors heard testimony from the Ada County Coroner Charles Garrison. Garrison is the forensics pathologist who performed the autopsy on murder victim 30-year-old David Lee Davis.
“We don’t do manner of death in out of county incidents,” Garrison explained. “We only do cause of death.”
Photos from the autopsy were presented to the jury Thursday. Garrison explained to the jury what each photo was depicting.
A photo showing the wounds in each of Davis’s legs caused by being shot with a Ruger .22 Pistol.
“These were through and through,” Garrison testified. “Meaning there is an entrance wound and an exit wound. They were not fatal.”
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Garrison also explained that the wounds were in the lower thighs just above the knees, and had been packed with tobacco.
The jury was then shown photos of the head wound and the brain matter that was in the baseball cap Davis was wearing, as well as a photo of Davis’ face and how the .40-70 bullet, from the high powered rifle, had caused severe distortion in his facial features.
“This is the back of the head which is essentially obliterated,” Garrison said.
Garrison also explained that when they unwrapped the body from the black plastic they found an opaque white plastic underneath.
Later Marie Baker, a friend of Davis’, testified of her friendship with him and that she had met him a few weeks earlier when he returned stolen items to her. She also testified that the two had often used methamphetamines together.
“We would go to the casino and hang out with other friends,” Baker said. “We didn’t sleep much. I was using methamphetamines intravenously.”
When Bingham County Prosecuting Attorney Cleve Colson asked if Davis used methamphetamines, Baker answered, “Yes, he smoked it.”
Baker explained to the court that she has been clean for seven months and that Davis had tried to get her to quit using methamphetamines intravenously.
She went on to testify that she and Davis had gone to the casino together on the night of Feb. 9 and once they arrived, they each went to different gaming machines.
“David was popular,” Baker said. “I would go to my favorite machine and he would go talk to people he knew.”
Later that night, Davis asked to borrow Baker’s white Pontiac Grand-Prix. Colson asked Baker if she knew Smith and if she knew if Davis knew Smith.
“I don’t know if he knew Melonie,” Baker said. “But he got a call that night from a female. Her name was Melonie. She wanted him to come to her house in Pingree. He asked if I wanted to go. I didn’t know where Pingree was and I wasn’t comfortable going somewhere I didn’t know. I let David use my car.”
Video from the casino showed Davis leaving around 5:30 a.m. Feb. 10.
The prosecution called Betty Duke, Smith’s mother, to testify. Duke was living at Smith’s home during the time of Davis’s death.
Duke told the court that she heard Kevin Day’s voice when Smith came home and testified to hearing two shots in the early morning hours while she and Smith sat on her bed visiting.
“I heard pop, pop,” Duke said. “I asked what the f— happened. Melonie said, ‘Oh my God. It’s Kevin,’ and she went running out. Then I heard Kevin drive off.”
She also testified that Melonie came back to her room for scissors to bandage him up.
She later testified that she heard Day come back to the house and then she heard a louder, single gunshot. She told the court that she didn’t see who shot Davis, and that Smith knew how to use a gun.
Smith’s sister, Kellie Leslie, and nephew Jeremy Leslie were also called to the stand. Both testified to hearing Duke and said that Smith shot Davis.
“She (Duke) said ‘Melonie shot him in the head,’” Leslie said. “She (Duke) said, ‘Melonie put him out of his misery, like an animal.’”
The trial will continue through Friday, and could proceed into next week.