News and Tribune

June 12, 2013

Weisheit’s double-murder trial continues in Jeffersonville

Forensic scientist gives testimony

By GARY POPP
gary.popp@newsandtribune.com

JEFFERSONVILLE —

The prosecution is continuing to present its case in the Jeffrey Weisheit capital murder trial taking place in Clark County Circuit Court No. 1.

Weisheit, 37, has been charged in the murder of his ex-girlfriend’s young children, who were inside of a home he is also charged with setting on fire.

The fatal fire took place in Weisheit’s Evansville home, which he shared with his girlfriend and her two children in April 2010, and because of the media attention the case has received in Vanderburgh County, the trial is being held in Clark County.

The fire took the lives of Caleb Lynch, 5, and Alyssa Lynch, 8, both of whose remains were pulled from the fire scene.

Vanderburgh County Deputy Prosecutors Gary Shutte and Charles Berger called to the witness stand Allison Karr, a forensic scientist with the Indiana State Police laboratory in Indianapolis, who examined evidence taken from the burned rubble.

Karr said she was able to make a positive match to the end of a roll of duct tape found in Weisheit’s car with the end of a piece of duct tape taken from the mouth of Caleb Lynch during his autopsy.

Duct tape was found binding the boy’s hands and covering his mouth, which had been stuffed with a piece a cloth.

One full road flare and a partial flare were also found near Caleb Lynch’s remains.

According to testimonies, including that of a Indiana State Fire Marshal, it remains unclear if the flares are what initiated the fire.

Defense attorneys have pointed out during the trial that Caleb Lynch and the flares were discovered in a part of the home least affected by the fire, although the entire home was virtually flattened by the blaze. 

It also remains undetermined if an ignitable liquid was used to start the fire that burned the home so fully that most of the remaining structure had fallen into the basement.

The fire marshal testified that if an accelerant was used to start the fire, it had either burned completely or had been washed away by water used to extinguish the blaze, either way, there has been no traces of accelerant taken from the scene.

Nearly four hours after officials responded to the fire, a Chevrolet Camero driven by Weisheit was stopped in Covington, Ky.

Law enforcement was able to track the vehicle because it was equipped with OnStar, and the company was able to give authorities Weisheit’s estimated location. Before Weisheit was apprehend, a vehicle pursuit exceeded speeds of 100 mph.

Shutte said he expects the prosecution to finish its presentation Thursday, at which time court-appointed attorneys Mike McDaniel, of New Albany, and Steve Owens, of Vanderburgh County, will present the defense.

The trial was scheduled to continue this morning for an abbreviated trial day expected to conclude at noon and continue Thursday morning.