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Third day of testimony in Wienke homicide trial

Posted at 6:37 PM, Oct 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-25 09:12:22-04

HELENA — On the third day of testimony in Journey Wienke’s homicide trial, the court heard testimony from forensic scientists who analyzed a March 2018 double-murder.

Wienke is the last of three suspects charged with deliberate homicide in connection with the deaths of David and Charla Taylor. The victims’ bodies were found in their home on Cayuse Road.

Joe Pasternak, a DNA section supervisor from the state crime lab in Missoula, testified Wednesday about areas in the home where the victims’ DNA had been found. He also noted some areas where it appeared multiple people’s DNA were found together.

Wienke’s defense attorneys pointed out the lab had found no clear indication Wienke’s DNA was present on any items around the crime scene.

The court also heard from Kevin Winer, a forensic scientist with the Kansas City Police Department and a consultant on blood evidence analysis. He talked about how the evidence pointed to possible locations and sequences of the attacks.

Kaleb Taylor has admitted to attacking and killing his parents. He is currently serving two life sentences in prison after pleading guilty to deliberate homicide.

Prosecutors argue Wienke is also legally responsible for the murders, either because he directly participated or because he and Taylor were planning to rob the house and the deaths occurred in the course of that crime.

The defense argues Taylor killed his parents alone, and that Wienke was not part of any plan to rob or kill them.

Another suspect linked to the case, Kyle Hamm, was convicted of deliberate homicide earlier this month.

Wienke’s trial is set to continue Thursday, when the prosecution could wrap up its case. The trial is expected to last through the end of the week.