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Local News

October 5, 2006

Forensics evidence introduced in Bayer murder case

Prosecutors offered forensics evidence Thursday in the trial of a Greenville man accused of killing his mother two years ago.

Dr. Joni McClain with the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center in Dallas was on the witness stand, to testify regarding tests performed on several items taken from the victim.

But defense attorneys raised objections, claiming the chain of custody regarding the evidence had been violated.

Testimony is scheduled to resume this morning in the 354th District Court in the trial of Byron Trent Bayer.

Bayer, 41, is charged with capital murder in connection with the strangulation death of his mother, Patsy Bayer, 63, in early October, 2004 at the home they shared in the 6500 block of Sayle Street, while in the course of committing robbery.

Authorities believe Bayer stole his mother’s sport utility vehicle and used at least one of her credit cards before he was caught in the vehicle near a local motel early on the morning of Oct. 9, 2004.

Bayer has pleaded not guilty.

McClain was scheduled to testify Thursday regarding items taken from Patsy Bayer’s body, including the electrical cords which investigators said were found wrapped around the woman’s neck.

Assistant District Attorney Noble Walker offered the items to McClain to examine and identify before entering the pieces into evidence.

Defense attorney Katherine Ferguson objected, noting how the brown paper bag which contained the items was improperly marked as having been sealed by McClain.

“This is not the bag she put the exhibits into,” Ferguson said. “Dr. McClain cannot testify those are the same contents.”

Judge Richard A. Beacom allowed McClain, outside the presence of the jury, to identify each of the items inside the bag individually before they were introduced into evidence and presented to the jury.

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