Kaitlin Armstrong trial: Defense calls expert witnesses after state rests case

After 42 witnesses testified over eight days, the state has rested its case in the Kaitlin Armstrong murder trial.

The Defense called up a senior latent print examiner with the Austin Forensic Science Department, formerly a part of APD. Erin LaGrone said out of the more than 20 latent prints lifted from around the front of Caitlin Cash’s apartment, none matched Kaitlin Armstrong conclusively. 

APD Officer Gordon Niels was also called to testify. Officer Niels arrested Armstrong the day after Moriah Wilson’s murder on an outstanding misdemeanor warrant. 

"Did she seem freaked out?" asked the defense. 

"Not at all," said Officer Gordon Niels.

The defense also called up expert witnesses in the fields of DNA and forensic metallurgy.

DNA consultant Matt Quartaro discussed transfer DNA, how DNA can travel from one person or thing to another person or thing. 

Wilson’s and Armstrong’s DNA were found on Wilson’s bike along with some unknown male DNA, not enough to generate a profile. Colin Strickland’s and Armstrong’s DNA were found on the guns discovered at Strickland’s home. 


"You agree that a person’s DNA can be in a place that they’ve never even been…and it can be on an item that they’ve never even touched?" 

"Correct," said Quartaro. 

Bob Tobin, forensic metallurgist and materials scientist, pushed back on the AFTE Theory of Identification. Essentially, examiners use tool marks found on cartridge casings and bullets to identify the firearm they came from. Tobin called the process unscientific.

Tobin testified for roughly 4 hours before Colin Strickland was called back to testify around 4:30 p.m.