A 3rd District judge denied a motion Monday to give a new trial to a Rose Park woman convicted of killing her boyfriend.
Teri Lin Goddard, 37, was convicted of second-degree murder last fall for the stabbing death of her live-in boyfriend, Derek G. Hall, 33. She is serving a 5-years-to-life sentence at the Utah State Prison.Defense attorney Brooke Wells asked 3rd District Judge David Young for a new trial because of "newly discovered evidence." She presented recent findings from a blood-splatter expert in Florida that she says supports Goddard's theory that Hall was accidentally stabbed when he fell on the knife she was holding.
"The testimony of (medical examiner) Dr. (Sharon) Schnittker at Ms. Goddard's trial and theory argued by the state . . . is inconsistent with the physical evidence," Wells said. "The credibility of Dr. Schnittker is clearly at issue and her conclusions were wrong."
At issue - in part - are the blood stains on the victim and Goddard. Schnittker testified that there would have been "prolific bleeding" onto Goddard once the knife was pulled out if Hall had been standing above her. Goddard's sweatshirt had small blood stains on the right sleeve, which Wells said is consistent with blood squirting from the stabbing.
Wells said Schnittker was testifying beyond her area of expertise and argued that the new testimony from forensics expert Judith Bunker warrants a new trial.
Deputy county attorney Rodwicke Ybarra said none of the conclusions were inconsistent with the state's theory, and the judge agreed. Wells said she will appeal the ruling to the Utah Supreme Court.