WILMINGTON — The judge will allow defense counsel to hire a blood splatter/wound expert in an alleged machete assault case.
Clinton County public defender Rob Baker filed the motion on Sept. 27 asking the court to allow him to hire the expert because he believes it will aid his client, Lee DeBord, in his self-defense plea. The court would authorize $3,000 to cover expenses needed to hire the expert.
According to Baker, the expert could be able to determine the intent of the incident by analysis of the photos of the crime scene and photos of the alleged victim, Roger Tucker, DeBord’s roommate at the time.
DeBord, 50, faces two charges of felonious assault and one charge of tampering with evidence for allegedly assaulting Tucker with a machete at their residence in the community of Cuba, south of Wilmington, in late July.
Common Pleas Court Judge John W. “Tim” Rudduck wanted to get an opinion from the state’s side as to whether or not this motion would be worth taxpayers’ expense.
Prosecuting attorney Katie Wilkin said Gary Wilgus from the Ohio Bureau of Investigation advised he had doubts about some conclusions the expert could come up with, such as depth of the wound.
“One is the angle motion, which was glancing or full strikes, with the depth of the wound,” said Wilgus. “You could have a full-on swing or have a minimal swing that has full contact.”
He added that conclusions could still be made, but the expert would have look at all the photos and documents associated with the case.
When asked if blood splatter analysis had been used as a factor in a self-defense case, Wilgus said there was a previous case where that played a factor.
He referenced a case where the defendant claimed self-defense after shooting an individual, but the analysis was contrary to the claim. According to Wilgus, the analysis helped indicate that the victim had already been on the ground when he was shot by the suspect and negated the notion of self-defense.
DeBord’s next hearing is set for Dec. 12.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574