Breckenridge Texan

Defense attorney cross examines Texas Ranger in murder trial

September 29
13:19 2017

The prosecution finished its questioning of Texas Ranger Toby Catlin Friday morning, Sept. 29, and defense attorney David Wimberley began his cross examination in the murder case being tried in Breckenridge.

Special Prosecutor David Alex, who is assisting District Attorney Dee Peavy, went over some of the text messages and video the jury had seen Thursday. Alex and Catlin clarified a few things, and Catlin offered up his determination of who was coming and going from E.C.’s Auto Repair shop in Graham on May 30, 2015, the day after Leah Martin disappeared.

The owner of the shop, E.C. Blair, is on trial for Martin’s murder. He and two other suspects were charged with the crime after the 22-year-old single mother’s remains were found buried on a piece of land just outside of Graham.

When Wimberley began his cross examination of Catlin, he, too, focused on the text messages and videos. However, Wimberley’s line of questioning pointed to alternative explanations.

For example, he said that the text message sent by Blair to his wife shortly before she was to meet with investigators could have simply been him telling her not to get mad at the police for accusing them of being involved in the murder. The prosecution witness had indicated that the message of “Just stay cool.” could have meant that she had knowledge of the murder.

The defense attorney also maintained that because the investigator only had phone records from the day before the murder and two days afterward, the logs don’t offer a chance for comparison to the suspects’ normal phone habits. He also pointed out that the evidence presented Thursday only included the phone calls and texts between people potentially involved in the case any not all of the other calls made throughout the day, making it seem as if all they did was talk and text with each other.

Wimberley is expected to continue his cross examination in the afternoon.

Story by Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan


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