Prosecutors rested Tuesday morning in the capital murder trial against Blaine Keith Milam, while the jury got the rest of the day off before hearing Milam’s defense team presents its case.
Milam, 20, is facing the death penalty for the December 2008 beating death of 13-month-old Amora Bain Carson. Milam and his fiancee, Jessica Carson, are charged with beating the toddler 20 times with a hammer while allegedly attempting to perform an exorcism on the little girl.
Visiting state District Court Judge J. Clay Gossett told the jury that the trial would reconvene at 8:30 a.m. today. He said he anticipates defense testimony to wrap up by the end of this week and that closing arguments are likely to take place Monday.
The defense team didn’t reveal its strategy Tuesday, other than to say it was assembling a list of experts and witnesses from across the state and the country.
Prior to the cessation of proceedings today, defense team member John Moore cross-examined [bite expert Robert] Williams about his work on the case.
Moore asked Williams if the human skin is a poor medium. Williams said it could be at times, but in this case is was not a problem.
Moore asked if the skin was less than ideal for recording impression of bite marks, and Williams said it was less than ideal.
Williams said this case was an excellent case to verify the science of odontology.
“When we see this same pattern over and over it verifies this science,” he said.
Williams said he believes all of the bites occurred before Amora’s death, even though some of his peers believe bites can show bruising on the skin if they occur post mortem. Williams added it wasn’t his level of expertise to determine if the bites happened before death or after, but to match the bite marks with a particular set of teeth.
Williams told jurors that he was able to achieve a reasonable degree of dental certainty that Milam was the person who bit Amora multiple times.
Those bites included bite marks on the baby’s chest, arms, throat, feet, lower back and others.
Williams said just one of the bites would meet the highest level of certainty, but because there were many bites that fit the teeth of Milam, it only confirmed his findings.
Williams said he sent the photos of Amora and the molds of all three people being looked at in the case without expressing his findings. His findings were upheld by two other odontologists.
Williams said the force and pain generated from the bites Amora suffered would be like slamming her hand in a car door.
He told jurors he found 25 separate bite marks on her body, and that he has never seen someone with that number of bite marks. Williams said the only case that came close he had ever seen was a victim who had seven bite marks.
“Are you aware of any case where a human being has been bitten this many times?” Tanner said.
“No, Ma’am,” Williams replied.