By Tiffany Pelt - email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Tuesday afternoon graphic pictures and bloody evidence presented in a capital murder trial links the victim's blood to a shirt found in the suspect's apartment.
Twenty-eight year old Joel Saucedo is accused in the beating death of José Neri, in November of 2001. Co-workers discovered Neri's body at the Corta Vista Apartments where both men worked.
Investigators became suspicious when they learned Saucedo, the apartment's maintenance worker and a Mexican national, boarded a bus to El Paso just 24 hours before Neri's body was discovered.
Tuesday, retired police detective Bruce Short took the stand to describe the murder scene in Neri's bedroom. Juror's saw graphic pictures of Neri's body. He was bound at the ankles and wrists with neckties, and gagged by another one. Pictures showed Neri lying face down, naked on his bed covered in blood. Other pictures showed large amounts of blood spatter on the bed's headboard and walls.
Short also testified that the victim's blood was found around the bathroom sink where an unopened Champaign bottle was sitting. Short believes Neri was struck with the Champaign bottle and then bound and gagged.
Pictures of Saucedo's apartment after the murder were also presented in court. They show sheets missing from Saucedo's bed and his bedroom closet empty with clothes hangers lying around. Short said it looked as if Saucedo had left in a hurry, but they did find a blue plaid shirt with blood stains on the bed. It tested positive with Neri's blood on it.
Saucedo spent years on the run, until he was arrested in Mexico, last year. He was then expedited back to Lubbock to stand trial.
Court will reconvene Wednesday at 9 a.m.
©2010 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved.