Todd Smith murder trial: A forensic scientists testifies about t - – Rockford’s News Leader

Todd Smith murder trial: A forensic scientists testifies about traces of Katrina's DNA found on key evidence

Todd Smith, walking into court Thursday, Jan. 12 Todd Smith, walking into court Thursday, Jan. 12

The murder trial of Todd Smith, the Machesney Park man accused of killing his wife Katrina in 2012, continued for the fifth day on Wednesday. 

The day's testimony began with Dr. Mark Peters, a forensic pathologist, describing Katrina's autopsy. Pictures of the autopsy were then shown to the courtroom. Dr. Peters says Katrina's worst injuries were found on her head.  He noted heavy bruising to her face, and five lacerations on the top of her head. 

He says it's this evidence that leads him to believe Katrina died of blunt force trauma to the head.  

"It's hard to say exactly how much force, she didn't have any skull fractures so it wasn't enough force to fracture her skull but clearly enough to split the skin," says Peters. 

The prosecution asks Peters if it's possible those injuries could have been caused by a bat, he says that's possible. 

Later in cross examination the defense asked Peters if it's possible something else was used to assault Katrina.  He says it's possible something smaller, like a broom stick could have been used as well. 

Forensic scientist Blake Aper testified later on DNA evidence. Aper works for the Illinois State Police crime lab. He says swabs from the baseball bat recovered from Todd's home and a swab of the trunk of Katrina's car tested positive for human blood.  Those samples were also a match for Katrina's DNA.

 In cross examination of Aper, it was learned Todd's DNA was not found on the bat nor in the trunk of the car. 

The trial will resume tomorrow at 9 a.m. Katrina Smith left her home back in October 2012 to run errands and never came back. The next month her husband, Todd Smith, was arrested and charged with four counts of first degree murder.

Prosecutors say he beat Smith and dumped her body which was later found in the Rock River.

Watch full coverage of today's court proceedings on 13 News at 5 & 6 on WREX. Follow reporter Mary Sugden on Twitter @MarySugden13 for all the latest updates from court.

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