Officers describe 'horror scene' as trial of man accused of killing 7-year-old begins

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 7 2014 2:15 p.m. MST

Families that typically live in the apartment complex where Hser lived are tight-knit, and children didn't typically wander off, said South Salt Lake Police Lt. Ron Lance.

Four FBI agents who searched the apartment where the child's body was found were called to the witness stand first. Met was not home when the FBI arrived. The other four roommates took between five and 10 minutes to answer the door when agents arrived.

The agents testified that when they went into the basement, they immediately saw two brown stains that appeared to be dried blood on the carpet.

"I thought, 'Boy, this is not good,'" testified FBI agent James Olsen. "I think this is where Hser Ner Moo was either beaten or was murdered."

Olsen said he was most concerned by a blood spatter on the wall. "This appeared to me to be someone who was struck with an object," he said.

When a photo of the girl's lifeless body in the shower was shown, most jurors, as well as Met, watched without showing any visible emotion.

FBI agent James Lamadrid said it appeared Hser had been dead for some time.

By this time, a fifth person, a neighbor, had entered the apartment. After FBI agents discovered the body and went back upstairs to contact other law enforcement agencies and start sealing off the apartment as a crime scene, they observed the expressions and demeanors of the five other people in the house.

"I wanted to see if I they had wide-eyed scared (looks)," Olsen said. "But I did not see any kind of a change in demeanor at all with them. … Nothing that would cause me any concern at all."

FBI agent Lance Edwards concurred. "Nobody was visibly nervous or concerned or interested in what we were doing," he said.

Investigators do not believe any Met's roommates were involved with the killing or had any idea what had taken place in the basement.

Though the girl was killed in March 2008, the case has stalled due to language barriers and the Burmese man's struggles to understand the court process. Translators are being rotated during the court hearings, constantly interpreting to Met what others are saying. Several times during Tuesday's hearing, attorneys were asked to slow down while questioning witnesses so the translator could relate everything to Met. Met wore a set of headphones as the interpreters spoke softly into a microphone so he could hear.

Because of the extreme language barrier the case has presented, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill decided not to seek the death penalty in the case.

Several of Hser's family members were expected to be called to the witness stand on Wednesday.

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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