Prosecutors used medical experts and criminologists to bolster allegations of murder before resting their case Friday in the capital homicide trial of a Layton man.
John F. Pendergrass, 19, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Ray Dale Jenkins, 22, of Clearfield. Jenkins' body was found nearly three months after he disappeared May 27, 1987, when Pendergrass led police to a marsh near the south marina campground at Willard Bay.Former Utah Medical Examiner Dr. Edwin Sweeney testified Jenkins was shot twice in the head and that the bullets were fired almost simultaneously and at approximately the same angle.
Sweeney said because the flesh around the wounded area was gone, he could not estimate how close the weapon was when it was fired.
On Thursday, Box Elder County Sheriff's Deputy Lynn Yeates testified that the defendant told him Jenkins shot himself playing Russian roulette and that Pendergrass delivered the second shot "to put him out of his misery."
James Gaskill, director of the crime laboratory at Weber State College, said he removed two bullets from a pillow identified as Jenkins', and said the bullets were fired from two different guns.
Box Elder County Attorney Jon Bunderson contends Jenkins was shot to death as he slept.
Duane Moyes, a criminologist at the crime lab, testified he found lead residue consistent with bullet holes on the top portion of the sleeping bag Jenkins was found in, and that tests performed on the cloth revealed the presence of gunpowder residue.
The trial, which is being heard by a six-woman, six-man jury in 1st District Court, resumes Monday when defense attorney Dale Dorius begins presenting his case.