Poitra Trial: Day 2 Afternoon Testimony

The State vs. Dennis Poitra, Jr. finished the second day of testimony Tuesday.
The State vs. Dennis Poitra, Jr. finished the second day of testimony Tuesday.

The lion's share of afternoon testimony saw various law enforcement agents from the Sheriff's Office, DCI and the Sheridan Police Department take the stand. They testified to obtaining consent to search the Bear Cloud garage and vehicle, where a lot of evidence was found, including dark clothes, black bandanas, a City of Sheridan street map, a flashlight, and a two-foot piece of timber with one end fashioned into a handle of sorts.

They also testified to stopping Riley Larkins' truck on Big Goose Road, where the truck was seized, and Dhar Sen arrested. They testified to obtaining a search warrant for the truck back at the police station, where the gun was found and placed into evidence. And they said that after conducting surveillance of the Poitra home in Dayton, he was arrested when seen heading back toward Sheridan. Junior told the officer he was headed to the police station, and when asked why, he replied, “I think you already know.”

Also giving afternoon testimony was Dr. Thomas Bennett, a Pathologist who is board certified in Forensic Pathology. He had conducted the autopsy on Robert Ernst. Throughout the procedure, he collected evidence and gave samples of tissue, fluids and a bullet to DCI agents. One bullet had been recovered from Mr. Ernst's lower back, but Dr. Bennett said that he died from the gunshot to his chest.

And Riley Larkins took the stand. He said that he had been living at the time with his grandparents, and the truck he'd been driving belonged to his grandfather. He said he confirmed Kyle Smith's testimony about meeting up with him that morning, and said that he'd known Kyle and Junior for about a year.

He said, however, that he had not known Dhar Sen prior to speaking with him at Bear Cloud's that afternoon. Dhar had told him of his involvement in the alleged crime. Larkins drove to the park to hang out, and later saw Dhar there. Larkins confirmed Kyle Smith's testimony that he, Larkins, showed Kyle the gun. He also said he headed with Dhar to his grandparents, but was stopped by a Sheriff's deputy. He said he had at first not been honest with law enforcement about any knowledge of the crime, but changed his story when taken to the police station and questioned.

On cross examination, Larkins told the defense that Poitra had never specifically told him that he'd wanted to get out of town.


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