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The Lake News Online
  • Evidence validity again questioned in murder trial

  • The second day of the trial of the man accused of killing three people in Stoutland in 2010 started with testimonies of friends and family members of the defendant, Morris McCabe.
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  • The second day of the trial of the man accused of killing three people in Stoutland in 2010 started with testimonies of friends and family members of the defendant, Morris McCabe.
    McCabe's longtime friend and the person he was living with during the time of the murders, Homer Reid, took the stand on Tuesday morning. Reid told the prosecutor that he knew McCabe since they were age 6 or 8. They had grown up together and were in the same grade in school.
    Reid lives in Lebanon and allowed McCabe to stay in an RV parked next to his home in 2010 and let him stay inside his home during winter 2010 along with Jim Carter.
    Reid told the prosecution that McCabe stayed with him after he and Vicki Bell, McCabe's girlfriend around the time of the murders, "got into it." Reid said that McCabe mentioned the altercation on Nov. 26 to him and when Reid asked if he hurt her, he received no response. Reid said that McCabe hung his head and didn't respond.
    On Dec. 2, Reid said that McCabe picked him up from work around 2 p.m. and then around 4 or 5 p.m. said that he needed to go to Bell's house to water the horses and check the mail. Reid remembers him leaving in Bell's car. Reid was unsure of McCabe's return because he was asleep.
    Reid did recall waking up when McCabe returned. He said that McCabe told him that he wanted to eat something, shower and do laundry. Reid said that he let him do what he needed to and went on to bed.
    Phone records show that a call from Reid's cell phone was received by Vicki Bell around 8:19 that evening. Reid seemed to have no recollection of the call while in court. He even said that McCabe could have called from his phone. The prosecution pointed out that the record showed that a call from Reid's phone was also received by McCabe's phone about two minutes before the call to Vicki. Reid still seemed to have no recollection of making the calls but did not dispute the phone records.
    Reid was at his residence when McCabe was arrested on Dec. 4. He remembered being called outside by law enforcement. McCabe was contained on the ground by officers according to Reid. When McCabe went to stand up, Reid said black gloves fell from his pocket. McCabe asked him to pick them up but law enforcement told him not to.
    "When someone is pointing a gun at you, you aren't going to move no matter what your best buddy says," Reid told the court.
    The gloves became a key item of question as the day went on. According to Reid, he remembered seeing the gloves fall out of McCabe's pocket but did not pick them up.
    Page 2 of 3 - Missouri Highway Patrol Investigator David Rice described McCabe's arrest as "a little chaotic and intense."
    Rice also recalled seeing the gloves but said that he did not take them into custody himself.
    The gloves in question have become a critical piece of evidence for the prosecution. The gloves contained McCabe's DNA and, allegedly, Sally Amos' blood.
    Now the question is where did the gloves come from?
    James Hosea, Corrections Officer with the Laclede County Jail, booked McCabe when he was brought in by Trooper Steven Cunningham of the Missouri Highway Patrol. Hosea removed McCabe's coat in order to conduct fingerprinting. While in court, he testified that he remembers patting down the coat searching for contraband. He felt something in the right hand pocket. He said that he pulled the item out slightly to make sure it was not a weapon or contraband and placed the item back in the pocket. He identified the item as the two gloves.
    "It was an unknown object. I had to identify that it was not contraband," Hosea said.
    Hosea did not write a report or inventory the items. He said that reports were not a part of his job. He said that he gathered the items and gave them to Detective Robert Finley.
    He later disclosed this information to Keedy when looking through evidence. He said that when he saw the jacket, he then remembered finding the gloves in the pocket.
    The prosecution pointed out that the bag holding all of McCabe's clothing items seemed to have been cut open at some point. Officers on the stand did not have an answer as to how that had happened.
    Other witnesses testified about seeing McCabe the night of the murders.
    McCabe's former sister in law, Linda Myers testified that she had lent him her van the night of Dec. 2, 2010. Myers recalled McCabe coming to her home around 7 p.m. Thursday night asking to borrow her van because according to him there was a plumbing problem at his girlfriend's place.
    Myers told him that she needed the van back by 11 p.m.
    A later witness identified as Laura Whitten, daughter of Linda Myers and niece of Morris McCabe confirmed her mother's story of McCabe coming to borrow the van. Whitten recalls seeing McCabe wearing jeans, a t-shirt, leather jacket and black gloves when he came for the van. She described his demeanor as "a little nervous, ansy and kind of amped up."
    Whitten said that he returned the van and kept apologizing to Myers saying that it took him longer than expected.
    Whitten had told police earlier during a recorded interview that she was in the bedroom with her children when he returned and that she could hear him but did not see him. While on the stand on Tuesday she said that she now remembers hugging him goodbye and remembers him slapping his gloves against his hands while apologizing.
    Page 3 of 3 - Whitten was unclear on the exact time of his return.
    "I wasn't sure on the time. It has been almost three years," she said.
    Current husband of Linda Myers, Marlan Myers, took the witness stand for a brief time. He said that he talked to McCabe off and on since his release from prison before the murders occurred. He remembered talking to McCabe on the phone approximately a few weeks before the incident. Myers told the prosectution that McCabe asked if he had a firearm and said that he may need to use one because he "had a problem with an old boy."
    Later Myers recalled McCabe coming to his house for a firearm but Myers told him that he didn't have one.
    Steven Henry, friend of the deceased, Donald Myers and Donald Young, also took the stand. Henry lives in Stoutland and had known Myers and Young for years. He remembered seeing Donald Young the morning of Dec. 2 at his shop in town. Young told him that he was going out to Myers's that evening for dinner.
    Later that night, Henry's brother had stopped by his home and needed a tool. The pair drove into Stoutland to get the tool that was needed. On their way into town, they passed Myers's home. Henry distinctly remembers seeing a "light color van" parked near Myers's home. The van was facing the house trailer and had the right side passenger door open according to Henry. Henry said he thought he passed the home sometime between 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. the night of Dec. 2.
    He did not look at the home on his way back so he could not say if the van was there when he returned home. The next morning, he recalled Myers's mother calling him saying she could not reach Myers and asked Henry to stop by his place and ask him to call her. When Henry reached Myers's home on the morning of Friday, Dec. 3, he saw yellow police tape surrounding the trailer. His friend, Jerry Neal, was there and told him of the deaths when he arrived.
    Henry did not tell law enforcement of the van he had seen until March 2013. He said he wanted to see if the van was significant so he stepped forward.
    McCabe's trial is set to continue on Wednesday.

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