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First responders, forensic scientists take stand in Day 3 of Curtis Reeves trial

Posted at 6:19 PM, Feb 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-16 18:19:44-05

DADE CITY, Fla. — First responders and forensic scientists were among those who testified in the Curtis Reeves trial on Wednesday.

The testimony centered around any injuries Reeves may have had on his face or near his eye, as well as testimony from the local medical examiner, who conducted an autopsy on Chad Oulson.

The first witness to testify on day three was Craig DeJonge, a paramedic and driver/engineer with Pasco County Fire Rescue.

DeJonge said he started his career as an EMT, before becoming a firefighter. He said he has been with the department for more than a decade.

Craig DeJonge, a paramedic and driver/engineer with Pasco County Fire Rescue.

DeJonge was dispatched to the theater on the day of the shooting, he testified. While en route to the scene, DeJonge testified that the call was upgraded from shooting to an active shooter with multiple victims. DeJonge said protocol is different for an active shooter, which meant they were planning to stage near the scene and let law enforcement respond first to ensure there was no one shooting. DeJonge said the call was changed again just before they arrived and they were told it was safe to enter.

At the scene, DeJonge said he was asked to check out Curtis Reeves who had complained that he thought he had something in his left eye. DeJonge said Reeves was in a cruiser when he went to help. DeJonge said Reeves was helped by a deputy to get out of the cruiser. He went on to identify Reeves in the courtroom.

DeJonge said Reeves again complained he believed he had something in his left eye. DeJonge said he removed Reeves' glasses and looked at his eye. He said there was no redness, objects, laceration or abrasions. He said he then used sterile water to flush Reeves' eye two or three times.

DeJonge was asked if he noticed any bruises, redness or lacerations of any type on Reeves' face as he flushed out his eye. DeJonge testified that he did not.

The defense, during cross-examination, asked DeJonge about flushing the eye and asked if he used light or manipulated the eye to see if there was something in it. DeJonge said he did not, he just visually observed the eye and flushed it.

DeJonge was asked if he asked Reeves to close his eyes to observe his eyelids. He said he did not.

The second witness of the day was Detective Todd Koenig with the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. He responded to the theater on the day of the shooting.

Koenig said he was asked to help interview Reeves by the lead detective on the case. Koenig said they interviewed Reeves in a cruiser and he pointed Reeves out in the courtroom as being the man he helped interview.

Koenig said during the interview, Reeves was sitting in the front passenger seat while he sat in the back passenger seat.

The state asked Koenig to discuss observations he made of Reeves during the interview. He said he was leaned over for most of the interview to be able to observe Reeves. The state questioned if Koenig saw any type of injuries to the left, right or backside of Reeves' head. Koenig said he didn't see any injuries initially. During the interview, Koenig said Reeves touched his face throughout and later noticed a red mark. He said he observed Reeves touch and rub his face "several times" during the interview.

Koenig was asked if Reeves ever made a statement about having a headache or throbbing in his head. Koenig said Reeve said at one point that he felt dazed because he thought he had been hit.

Koenig said Reeves was taken into another theater after the interview was over and Reeves was processed by a crime scene technician. Koenig said he mentioned to the technician that Reeves rubbed his eye and asked that pictures of his eye be taken because Reeves had complained he felt that something was in it.

Detective Todd Koenig with the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

During cross-examination, the defense team asked Koenig if Reeves was rubbing his eyelid at the time or the corner of his eye. Koenig said Reeves rubbed the corner of his eye. The defense questioned Koenig on a deposition he previously gave to the defense team where he was also asked if Reeves was rubbing his eyelid or the corner of his eye. He said, at that time, that Reeves rubbed the corner of his eye.

After a 10-minute recess, the trial resumed with the next witness, Susan Miller who is a supervisor in the forensics department at the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

Miller was asked about when she arrived at the scene and what her duties were. Based on the previous testimony by Detective Todd Koenig, Miller was the technician who documented and took pictures of Reeves after his interview with detectives.

Miller was questioned about the physical and photographic evidence she took the day of the shooting. She was presented with several items, including a shoe that Reeves was wearing at the time and photos taken to show the jury.

Susan Miller, a supervisor in the forensics department at the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

The next witness called to testify was Dr. John Thogmartin, the District 6 medical examiner, which includes both Pasco and Pinellas counties.

The defense had Dr. Thogmartin walk them through the different terms he, as a medical examiner, uses when writing an autopsy report; such as anatomical positions (anterior and posterior).

Dr. John Thogmartin, the District 6 medical examiner.

They also had him describe how the stippling of a gunshot wound is written up — close to contact vs intermediate vs distance undetermined.

After returning from lunch, the trial resumed with Dr. Thogmartin continuing to testify.

During cross-examination, the defense pressed on how Dr. Thogmartin couldn’t make a determination based on hypotheticals whether a phone was thrown or not or whether a phone did or didn't cause injuries. Dr. Thogmartin also explained how a person can get hit by an object and it not leave a mark.

Following Dr. Thogmartin, Allen Procter, a former detective of the Major Crimes Unit for the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, was called to the stand to testify.

Procter was questioned about the day he interviewed Alan Hamilton, a retired Sumter County deputy who was off duty and at the movie with his wife, and whether or not he initially spoke to him off tape.

"After talking to several witnesses throughout my career, I wanted to make sure that he was going to be able to articulate what occurred in such a way that I would be able to understand that," Procter said.

The defense then asked him if what Hamilton said off tape was the things he said on tape, to which Procter answered yes.

After further questioning regarding his interview techniques, the audio of the interview between Procter and Reeves was played.

Audio of the interview between Allen Procter and Curtis Reeves was played during day 3 of trial

A second audio was played where Procter could be heard announcing to Reeves that he was going to be arrested on second-degree murder and Reeves continued to question the fact that Procter said nobody saw Oulson punch him.

Following further testimony from Procter, day three of the trial concluded shortly before 4:30 p.m. due to the fact that cross-examination of Procter was expected to go past 5 p.m.

Testimony is expected to begin again Thursday at 8:30 a.m.