Archive for Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Wichita slayings autopsies shared

Carr trial jurors hear graphic reports detailing how five victims, dog died

October 23, 2002

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— Autopsies on victims of a quadruple killing in December 2000 showed the three men were beaten and the woman was sexually assaulted before all were shot in the back of the head while kneeling on snow, a coroner testified Tuesday.

Mary Dudley, chief medical examiner for the Sedgwick County Regional Forensic Science Center, offered the testimony in the capital murder trial of brothers Reginald and Jonathan Carr of Dodge City.

The Carrs are accused of fatally shooting a Wichita woman on Dec. 11, 2000, and four of five people who were abducted three days later from a Wichita home.

Dudley said all four of the people found dead on the soccer field died of a gunshot wound to the head. Bruising on their bodies indicated separate blunt force trauma, with some of the injuries consistent with blows from a golf club, she testified.

A partial autopsy on a dog found at the home where the abductions occurred indicated it had been beaten to death, possibly with the golf club found near it, Dudley said. The dog, a schnauzer named Nikki, belonged to the woman who survived the shootings.

Killed in that attack were Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26; and Heather Muller, 25. The four, along with Befort's 25-year-old girlfriend, had been forced to withdraw money from automated teller machines and engage in sexual acts before they were shot.

The fifth person whom the Carrs are accused of killing, 55-year-old Wichita Symphony Orchestra cellist Ann Walenta, was shot three times while sitting in her car Dec. 11, 2000. Dudley said her autopsy showed Walenta died as a result of complications of multiple gunshot wounds, and she ruled the death a homicide.

Befort's autopsy showed a gunshot wound to the back of the head, with the bullet exiting below his eye, Dudley testified. Injuries on his buttocks, legs and toes had a pattern similar to the raised edges of the golf club, she said.

Heyka also was shot in the head and had separate head injuries showing blunt force trauma to the head and neck, Dudley said.

Sander's autopsy showed a contact gunshot wound to the head, meaning the gun was touching the skin when it was fired, she said. He, too, had separate abrasions to his forehead, possibly from being hit with a gun, and he had several bruises on his legs, Dudley testified.

Muller also showed signs of having been shot while the gun was placed against her head, Dudley testified. Muller's body also had lacerations and bruising that forensic nurse Dianna Schunn said were consistent with rape.

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