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Expert Witnesses Take Stand in Crum Murder Trial

by Kerry Craig

Testimony in the Aaron Crum murder trial in Hopkins County’s 8th District Court continued Wednesday with Jessica Horton the sister of murder victim Joshua Paul Cowling on the witness stand.

Horton was at the after hours party when her brother was killed and called 911 to report the shooting and told the court that Crum administered CPR to her brother. She said he also told her he was “in fear for my life.”

In cross examination by defense attorney Martin Braddy the woman answered a number of questions regarding the call for emergency help and agreed that Crum administered CPR for more than five minutes.

District Attorney Will Ramsay then called Texas Ranger John Vance to the stand as an expert in blood spatters. The state presented more than 100 crime scene photos taken by the Ranger and Vance explained spatter patterns and described the method used in making the pictures.

On cross examination Braddy grilled Vance about the blood spatters and what each pattern represented.

Several times during the cross examination District Judge Eddie Northcutt called the attorneys to the bench for a conference about the questioning and the jury was excused two times for testimony to be presented before the judge to determine if the jury could hear the testimony. 

Stacey Phetteplace, a ballistics scientist from Texas Department of Public Safety, was then called to the stand to identify the weapon, a 9mm Glock pistol, as the one used in the death of Joshua Cowling. The scientist said she could not match the bullet that caused the death with the pistol because the bullet was too badly damaged. She did however match the spent shell casing with the weapon.

The next scheduled witness to be called by Ramsay was the medical examiner that performed the autopsy on Cowling.

Testimony is expected to continue through the remainder of the week.

Aaron Tyler Crum, if convicted of first-degree murder could face a sentence of between five years to 99 years or life in prison.

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Author: Staff Reporter

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