Tuesday morning testimony in the State vs. Dharminder Vir Sen trial got underway at 9 o'clock in 4th Judicial District Court. The State called several special agents from the Department of Criminal Investigation's various regional task forces who were involved in the investigation of the Ernst murder in August, 2009.
Those agents included Troy Hibsig, who was present with Special Agent Osborne at the autopsy of Robert Ernst's body at St. Vincent's Hospital in Billings, MT. He testified to collecting evidence from the body, securing the evidence and transporting it back to Sheridan, where it was stored until taken to Cheyenne.
Matt Waldock testified that he'd obtained a warrant to search the Bear Cloud garage at 820 S. Thurmond; he took a gunshot residue kit from Dennis Poitra, Jr.; he interviewed Riley Larkins with then Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Mulholland and secured consent from Larkins for his cell phone records. Waldock also collected DNA swabs from both linda Ernst and her daughter, Ann Ernst as elimination samples.
The majority of the morning's testimony was from Special Agent Loy Young, who identified just over thirty photos that he had taken of many angles of the exterior of the Ernst home; the interior of the Ernst's master bedroom; and the basement of the Ernst home. He also testified to new information -- not presented in Dennis Poitra, Jr.'s trial -- that he, DCI Special Agent Chad Quarterman, Sheridan Police Detective Sgt. Tom Henry, and witness Brandon Baglin went to the Acme Pits on August 30th, 2009, where Baglin showed law enforcement an area that he, Sen, and others had gone target practicing several days prior to the Ernst shooting.
Young told the Court that they found three 9 mm shell casings similar to those found in the hallway of the Ernst's home.
With Hibsig, Waldock and Young, Sen's attorney Tim Cotton did not pose any cross examination questions.
Significant morning testimony came from Steve Johnston, the Evidence Technician with the Sheridan Police Department, who testified to how audio is recorded and stored into evidence. He was called as a witness per Judge John Fenn's request of the State to provide more foundation on the 9-1-1 audio played in Court Monday afternoon, the use of which was cause for Cotton's objection and desiring of a mistrial.
Judge Fenn said Johnston's testimony met the conditions Fenn had required,. While Cotton had no cross examination for Johnston, he still objected to the use of the audio; Judge Fenn overruled that objection.
Witness testimony continues Tuesday afternoon.