LAKE CHARLES, La. – The Latest on cold case trial (all times local):
Lawyers for a Mississippi native accused of killing his wife in 1962 say she fell from his boat and drowned, but her younger brother says Mary Horton Vail was afraid of boats.
KPLC-TV reports via Twitter (http://bit.ly/2b3ArsO ) that Will Horton testified Wednesday about 76-year-old Felix Vail, who has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge.
Horton testified that he would go water-skiing with the Vails. He says Vail owned a fast wooden boat, but Mary would never ride in it.
Earlier Wednesday, the KPLC report said, jurors heard from a Mississippi man who said Vail once told him his wife thought another son would “fix” their marriage, but he didn’t want the son he had. Seventy-one-year-old Thomas Wesley Turnage testified that Vail had told him he had “fixed” his wife so she’d never have another child.
The coroner who reopened the investigation of a 1962 death says he’s absolutely certain the 22-year-old woman was killed, rather than the victim of an accidental drowning.
Dr. Terry Welke was the first witness in the trial of 76-year-old Felix Vail, who has pleaded innocent to a charge that he murdered his first wife, Mary Horton Vail.
KPLC-TV reports via Twitter (http://bit.ly/2b3ArsO ) that defense attorney Josh Monroe began cross-examining Welke on Wednesday, questioning his certainty.
Welke said Mary Vail’s body was stiff, with crossed arms, when she was found face-up in the Calcasieu (KAL’-kuh-shoo) river. He said drowning victims are normally found face-down.
Welke reviewed photographs of the retrieval of Mary Vail’s body and the 1962 coroner’s report. Unlike that coroner, Welke is a forensic pathologist.
Information from: KPLC-TV, http://kplctv.com