Day 5 of Winston Corbett’s trial in murder of professor James Miller
Division Chief of Investigations Keith Miller continued his testimony Friday morning.
He continued walking the prosecution through the areas of the Miller crime scene where he collected evidence.
One of the items discussed was the discovery of a tooth in the foyer during cleanup, but there appeared to be an objection about that part of his testimony.
The defense objected that some of the photos presented were not entered into evidence.
The objection was sustained and the prosecution walked Chief Miller through several of the photographs.
One part of Chief Miller’s testimony included an admission the team made an error during the processing of James Millers’ body.
When the shirt was cut from James, the cut shirt was then placed on the ground without any protection.
When the defense asked about this, Chief Miller admitted it was a mistake on their part and he took responsibility.
Chief Miller was dismissed before lunch.
After lunch, the prosecution called Dean Marks who was a blood stain/spatter expert with the Indiana State Police in October 2011.
Marks said he was called on the morning of October 9, 2011 to respond to the Miller home to assist in the investigation.
He arrived to the home around 10:15 a.m.
Marks said there were a few areas with blood stain evidence, the master bedroom, master bath, hallway to the foyer, the foyer, the interior door that led to the garage, through the garage and down the driveway to the mailbox area.
Marks did not collect any evidence himself but did take photographs at the scene, which were entered into evidence.
He said he started his examination in the master bathroom where there was a large amount of blood in front of the toilet. Due to the blood at the scene, he said someone was sitting on the toilet while bleeding.
There was a large volume of blood around the toilet, he said.
In the master bedroom, there was a five foot area where there was blood evidence. It included three areas of events within that five foot area, he said.
The first was the plastic chair pad at the sewing machine table. It had a large amount of blood on it, he said.
The second included a large amount of blood near and on the closet door.
The third location was on the north side of the bed, opposite the bedroom. There, Marks said there was blood on the bed, the side of the bed and on the floor. He also located a bloody handprint on the sheets.
Marks said due to the volume of blood and his expertise, the person who was injured suffered severe injuries and was on the ground while causing the stains to these areas.
Next he discussed there was little blood in the hallway leading to the foyer, but there was quite a bit in the foyer.
There was blood on the storm door and some of the blood could only have been deposited while the door was open. There was blood on the upper glass and the door handle.
Marks said there was a blood source in contact with both doors.
Marks then testified about the blood on the kitchen door that leads to the garage. He said there was blood on the interior part of the door as if someone was opening the door.
The garage floor had three bloody sock impressions that led from the kitchen door to outside the garage.
The final point of discussion was at the end of the driveway, near the mailbox, where James’ body was found.
Marks testified there was impact spatter on the base of the mailbox and possible shoe impressions near the mailbox.
Before completing his testimony, he testified he found, based on blood evidence, four locations consistent with a struggle.
The four included the master bedroom, master bathroom, front door/foyer and the mailbox.
The final witness of the day was Nick McCloughen of the Goshen Police Department. He responded to the initial scene while a patrol officer and set up the crime scene tape.
Then in 2016 and 2017 he was assigned to work with the Elkhart City Homicide unit.
In January 2017, he took over the case.
He read over the case files, met with Linda Miller, met with the Indiana State Police about the evidence that had been sent for testing.
At one point, Linda Miller contacted him because she had an idea.
After that conversation he reached out to Idaho Falls and discussed their use of genetic genealogy to solve a case.
ISP arranged the evidence transfer to Paragon Laboratory.
On October 16, 2018 the report from Paragon sent him a report. He then followed up on that lead. By that time he was working with the Elkhart County Homicide Unit and all investigators began looking at the lead.
During the investigation he determined Corbett lived at an address on S. Main Street in Goshen that was less than a mile by car or half mile if going by bike on the bike path.
On October 23, detectives pulled Corbett’s trash.
They served a warrant on October 28 and Corbett agreed to speak with investigators.
Court then ended for the week.