Thurber Jurors See Crime Scene Evidence

By: Jennifer Bocchieri Email
By: Jennifer Bocchieri Email

A black leotard, a dance team jacket and a pile of mail. All belongings of 19-year-old Jodi Sanderholms' that witnesses pulled out one by one for jurors to see. A few of several items of evidence searchers found tossed into the toilet of a bathroom at the Cowley County Fishing Lake.

"And there I saw a single flip flop and what appeared to be dance shoes in that toilet," said Burrton Firefighter Don Cannon.

The lake is also where divers found Sanderholm's submerged car. Close by is where Thurber called to have his father come pick him up after he says friends had car trouble. It's a story he told officers later that night of January 5, 2007.

"During this conversation Kevin Thurbersaid when he picked his son up he was wet and muddy," said the officer on the stannd.

Thurber's car trouble story comes after his first alibi fell through. He had told police he's been with his good friend Austin Almeda during the time of Sanderholm's dissapearance. A fact Almeda immediately denied to police.

"To be honest I wanted to know why the hell I had officer calling me up in the middle of the night asking me if he was with me or not," said Almeda.

The trial is moving along much faster than expected and is set to wrap up by the end of next week. Court is not in session on Friday.

4:00 pm

Court recesses for the day. Court will resume on Monday morning.

3:35 pm

An officer who was stationed out at the Kaw Wildlife area, where Sanderholm's body was later found, says they found footprints in the areaa nd called in teh tracking team.

They first came to the area because they were told that it was an area Thurber frequented.

3:00 pm

Court is in recess until 3:15 pm.

2:00 pm

Two Burden firefighter trackers tell the court they began searching around the Cowley County Fishing Lake boat ramp area for any signs of what could have happened to Sanderholm.

It was there, stuffed into toilets in the women's bathroom they found one of Sanderholm's flip flops, her dancing shoes, her dance team jacket and mail addressed to her mother and father.

The pattern on the flip flop matches tracks found in the area where Sanderholm's body was later discovered in the Kaw Wildlife area.

1:23 pm

Court is now back in session. Taking the stand is Stacey Michelle with the local fire department. He is trained to investigate crime scenes, most specifically to study tracks criminals leave behind. He can pick footprints out by the way ther person walked. He says people walk differently depending on their intentions.

11:30 am

Court is in recess until 1 pm. This afternoon prosecutors are set to start detailing evidence found at the crime scene in the Kaw Wildlife Area.

11:07 am

Prosecutors show a tape of a detective interrogating Justin Thurber. the detective asks detailed questions about the exact timeline of Thurber's entire day on January 5, 2007. He tells teh jury that Thurber demeanor was very calm during the interview and was able to fully participate in it.

10:30 am
Prosecutors call Thurber's friend Austin Almeda to the stand. Acording to Thurber, he was with Almeda the afternoon and night of Sanderholm's dissapearence. But Almeda tells the jury he was working all night and was not with the defendent.

The state also calls an Arkansas City police officer to the stand. The night Sanderholm went missing the officer interviewed Thurber as to his whereabouts all day. Thurber told him he spent te afternoon driving back country roads with hsi friends when the car broke down. He decided to walk back to town but when he got tired he called his father to come pick him up. His father picked him up in the area of the Fishing Lake and Thurber was wet and muddy.

The prosecution continues calling witnesses on day four of the Justin Thurber trial.

This morning the prosecution focuses on proving to the jury that no one other than Thurber could have killed 19-year-old Jodi Sanderholm.

Sanderholm's boyfriend of more than four years, Colby Wilson, took the stand to testify that he was out of town during the time of Sanderhom's dissapearance. He was visiting Texas with his brother and prosecutors have evidence he made purchases there with his debit card.

Prosecutor's want the jury to rule out Wilson as a possbible suspect. He could be an easy target for the defense because of his relationship with Sanderholm.

During testimony today prosecutors also plan to detail Thurber's arrest and go over evidence found at the crime scene in the Kaw Wildlife area.

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