Legal Developments in Selenski Trial

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The defense took over in the Hugo Selenski double murder trial, but not before the judge threw out a key piece of evidence for the prosecution.

The judge told the jury Wednesday to forget expert testimony that shotgun pellets were found in a bone at the crime scene. It’s because of a contradiction in testimony on Tuesday. There is now no physical evidence of a shotgun shooting. Before the prosecution rested Wednesday, they did have one more show for the jury.

Dr. Anthony Falsetti is a specialist in trying to identify bones, especially when that task isn’t easy. He has assisted in investigations including the Oklahoma City bombing, TWA flight 800, and the World Trade Center. “I’ve seen lots of bone damage from either high velocity or thermal damage, fire,” said Dr. Falsetti.

In this case, the bones were found burned, broken apart, and discovered among ashes in garbage bags. Dr. Falsetti presented boxes of bone fragments to the jury. They saw up close dozens of small, burned-up pieces. Out of all of them, Falsetti can only identify one as being that of a black person. He says they’re too burned and broken to connect to victims Frank James and Adieye Keiler.

Their families were clearly upset seeing bones that could be those of their sons. Family members were upset with defense attorney Demetrius Fannick. On cross examination, he grabbed bags of bones, yelling to Dr. Falsetti, “Are these the bones of a black man?” The answer each time from Falsetti was “I don’t know.”

“How dare you disrespect our children’s bones like that. Have some respect. If that was your child, how would you have felt if someone had picked it up and thrown it?” asked Sharon Forrester, the mother of one of the victims.

“I have to do my job. I do it the best way I know how. Everything in the courtroom is done for a reason. It is done for effect,” replied Fannick