The reaction of Steven Ray James when he reported in August 1986 that his son had been kidnapped from his car was "totally emotionless and cold," a criminologist testified.
Dr. William Kent Glansville told jurors that he found it remarkable that James seemed so detached on the day the father reported his 3-month-old son missing.James, who is on trial in Salt Lake's 3rd District Court for first-degree homicide in connection with the death of his son, Steven Roy James, has shown no visible emotion throughout the proceedings.
Prosecutors Tuesday continued to question Glansville about his findings in his examination of James' Cadillac the day James reported the child kidnapped.
Forty-six days later, duck hunters discovered a child's body wrapped in a blanket tied with an electrical cord in a marsh near Bear River.
Glansville further testified that he found no fingerprints - other than belonging to James - inside the car.
Defense attorneys have argued throughout the trial, now in its fifth day, that the body discovered was so badly decomposed it could not be identified as being the James child.
But fingerprint experts testified that footprints provided positive identification of the baby. Dr. Todd Grey, chief medical examiner for Utah, and Scott Pratt, with the state crime lab, told jurors the prints are those of Steven Ray James' son.
A comparison of the prints of the deceased child with the birth certificate prints of the James boy proved identical.
Additionally, Pratt used a Father's Day card that the child's mother, Victoria DeLeon, had created for James by using lipstick to imprint her son's footprint on the card as comparative evidence. The child, born May 22, 1986, was nearly a month old when she made the Father's Day card.
While the exact cause of death could not be determined because of the decomposition of the body, Grey determined the child could have died from strangulation, suffocation, drowning or from being severely shaken. Grey lists "homicide" on the death certificate because of the suspicious manner the body was disposed of - placed in a bundle, wrapped with a cord, weighed down with five large rocks and tossed into the river.
Defense attorneys have contended that if the baby's body found in the river is the James baby, James could have been framed by anyone who had access to the paint-covered mattress cover wrapped around the baby.
Witnesses for the prosecution testified Monday and Tuesday that the mattress cover found wrapped around the baby had spots of paint matching the color that James used to paint his son's room.
The clothing the corpse was wearing - a blue T-shirt and diaper - and the striped receiving blanket covering it were also identified as belonging to the James baby.
Prosecutor James Jenkins pointed out to jurors that James' description of his missing child on Aug. 26, l986, matches exactly the clothing and blanket discovered on the dead baby.