By COLLEEN MCCARTHY
Leslie Sharp is expected to be called by the defense to testify today in the trial against her for the murder of Christopher Cole.
Sharp, 22, stands accused to shooting Cole, 20, on Nov. 10, 2008, in an act she claims was self defense.
The jury heard testimonies from a number of expert witnesses, including a firearms expert and a forensic pathologist yesterday.
Forensic pathologist Dr. Adele Lewis said she was the one to perform the autopsy on Cole. She said Cole suffered seven separate gun shot wounds — two to the right side of his chest, two to his upper back, one to his lower back, one that pierced his upper right arm and another that pierced his right thigh.
Lewis said the four bullets that hit Cole’s upper chest and back crossed paths inside the body and it was unclear which bullets caused what specific damage. Those four bullets caused the most extensive damage, she said, injuring his right lung, liver, intestine, ribs, several major blood vessels and causing internal bleeding in his chest. She said any one of the wounds by themselves likely would have been fatal.
Lewis said she could not determine what position Cole was in when he was shot, nor could she say in which order the wounds were caused.
She ruled Cole’s death a homicide, but said in the medical field a homicide is classified as a “death that has occurred at the hands of another.”
Brian MacIntyre, a firearms expert with the Mississippi Crime Lab, said he was in charge of test firing both Cole’s revolver and Sharp’s 9 mm to compare to the projectiles collected as evidence in the case.
MacIntyre said Cole’s revolver was not in good condition when it got to him. He noted when testing the revolver, the bullets only discharged three out of the 14 attempts; the rest were misfires.
He compared the misfired rounds to the live rounds that were in Cole’s revolver when he was killed. The live rounds all had indentations on the backs, indicating they had been misfires as well. The test rounds matched those found in Cole’s revolver.
David Dampier, an employee of Mississippi State University and an expert in digital forensics, told the jury he used a device to extract information from Cole’s cell phone and the cell phones of three eyewitnesses. That information, including sent and received text messages around the time of the shooting was compiled into a timeline document by the defense attorney and was admitted into evidence. Dampier noted eyewitness Kayla Huffman’s retrieval was incomplete because it appeared that a number of text messages had been deleted soon after they were received, causing gaps in the timeline.
Testimony will continue today at 9 a.m. at the Oktibbeha County Circuit Court.