(Juneau) The trial for a Fox Lake murder suspect continued Thursday with forensic testimony. Laverne Ware Jr. is charged with shooting his girlfriend and first cousin Sesalie Dixon in the head with three, nine-millimeter rounds on December 3, 2016. Although the defense argues that the defendant’s mother, Marjorie Jones, is the actual perpetrator of the crime. They maintain that the 56-year-old Jones was upset because Dixon had stolen money, pills and her 59-year-old, live-in boyfriend.
Day four of the trial continued with testimony from P Douglas Kelly who used to work in the Fond du Lac County’s Medical Examiner’s Office. Kelly said that the pronounced time of death was recorded around 20 minutes after midnight on December 5. Although the homicide is believed to have occurred sometime between the hours of 7pm and 9pm on December 3, Kelly said the pronounced time of death is when a medical examiner looks at their watch and declares the individual legally dead. He stated that of the three intermediate-shots fired, two were fatal adding that the last shot was difficult to tell from the autopsy.
Wisconsin State Crime Lab Fingerprint Examiner Vanessa Styx was called to the stand following Kelly’s testimony. She conducted fingerprint testing on some items retrieved from the crime scene including a black and pink handgun as well as fired and unfired cartridges. The pink handgun was discovered to be the murder weapon through recovered shell casings. Styx testified that her lab found fingerprint ridge patterns on the pink gun but it was not enough to make a good comparison. Ridge patterns were also found on an unfired magazine cartridge but it too was unsuitable to make a comparison. Styx said that testing on the fired cartridge cases would not have yielded any worthwhile data because the fingerprint would likely be “rubbed off” while it exits the chamber. She added that heat from discharging the weapon can also remove any sweat residue left on the casing.
Also testifying was Wisconsin State Crime Lab Firearms and Tool Mark Examiner Xai Xiong. While the two handguns found at the scene were the exact same model, Xiong was able to give testimony explaining how his lab was able to determine which gun was used in the crime. Xiong said during the manufacturing process the firearms are created by rapidly moving tools which create microscopic imperfections that analysts examine for individualizing characteristics. Week one of the two-week jury trial continues Friday.