06 Aug Deputy Director of Denver Crime Lab Says Evidence Supports Suicide, Not Murder in Real Estate Broker’s Death
The Denver Post
By Shelly Bradbury
A Denver real estate broker who was shot to death after an argument with her fiance last year appeared to suffer a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the deputy director of the Denver Crime Laboratory testified on the second day of a murder trial for the woman’s fiancé.
Micah Kimball, 44, is charged with killing Michelle Jacobson, 43, inside the couple’s Speer neighborhood home on Sept. 26, but blood patterns at the crime scene and on Kimball’s clothing suggest Jacobson shot herself in the head, and it would be “highly unlikely” that Kimball shot her, deputy director Angela Deadmond testified Thursday.
“Based on the evidence I reviewed, it appears it is highly likely it is self-inflicted,” Deadmond testified for the defense.
Deadmond’s testimony directly contradicted the prosecution’s theory in the case, which is that Kimball shot Jacobson after a long night of arguing because he was angry with her and wanted to exert control over her.
On cross examination, Chief Deputy District Attorney Daniel Cohen characterized Deadmond’s conclusions as overreach and suggested her findings were flawed because the crime scene could have been altered by Kimball before it was documented by investigators and because the evidence does not disprove that Kimball shot Jacobson.
Cohen emphasized that Deadmond did not visit the crime scene but rather worked from photographs, videos and scans taken by crime scene investigators, and suggested she was working from incomplete information.
“Blood spatter analysis has its limits, right?” Cohen asked. “There are things it cannot tell you.”
Deadmond testified that she based her opinion on the pattern of blood spatter around the bed where Jacobson was shot in the top of her head, as well as on her analysis of Kimball’s clothing, which, while blood stained, were not covered in the type blood spatter that is typically seen when a person shoots and wounds someone at close range.
A second, independent crime scene expert who reviewed the case at the request of the district attorney’s office also concluded the wound was most-likely to be self-inflicted, according to testimony.
Also discussed Thursday was also a soot mark on Jacobson’s left hand that indicates her hand was near or on the gun when it was fired. Defense attorney Iris Eytan said the mark indicated a self-inflicted wound, while Cohen argued Jacobson realized Kimball was about to shoot her and put her hand up to try to stop him.