WICHITA, Kan. (AP) Autopsies on victims of a quadruple killing in December 2000 showed that the three men were beaten and the woman was sexually assaulted before all were shot in the back of the head while kneeling in snow, a coroner testified yesterday.
Mary Dudley, chief medical examiner for the Sedgwick County Regional Forensic Science Center, offered the testimony in the capital murder trial of brothers Reginald and Jonathan Carr of Dodge City.
The Carrs are accused of murdering a Wichita woman on Dec. 11, 2000, and four of five persons who were abducted from a Wichita home on Dec. 14 of that year and taken to a soccer field. There, they all were shot execution-style. One person survived and has testified against them.
The Carrs are black. All their victims are white. The case has provoked criticism from some who accuse prosecutors of ignoring racial hatred as a potential motive in the crime spree.
Miss Dudley said all four of the persons found on the soccer field died of gunshot wounds to the head.
Bruising on their bodies indicated separate blunt force trauma, with some of the injuries consistent with blows from a golf club, she testified.
A partial autopsy on a dog found at the home where the abductions occurred indicated it had been beaten to death, possibly with the golf club found near it, Miss Dudley said.
The dog, a small schnauzer named Nikki, belonged to the woman who survived the shootings. The dog had been left muzzled in the home when the victims were taken to the soccer field.
Killed in that attack were Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26; and Heather Muller, 25. The four, along with Mr. Befort’s 25-year-old girlfriend, had been forced to withdraw money from automated teller machines and forced to engage in sexual acts before they were shot.
The fifth person whom the Carrs are accused of killing, 55-year-old Wichita Symphony Orchestra cellist Ann Walenta, was shot three times while sitting in her vehicle on Dec. 11, 2000. She died weeks later.
Miss Dudley said her autopsy showed Mrs. Walenta died as a result of complications of multiple gunshot wounds, and ruled her death a homicide. She testified that a pulmonary embolism that caused the death was a result of the gunshot wounds.
Mr. Befort’s autopsy showed a gunshot wound to the back of the head, with the bullet exiting below his eye, Miss Dudley testified. Injuries on his buttocks, legs and toes had a pattern similar to the raised edges of the golf club, she said.
Earlier yesterday, forensic nurse Diana Schunn testified about her examination of Miss Muller’s body the day of the quadruple killing. Miss Schunn, a sexual-assault nurse examiner, described in detail lacerations and bruising that she said were consistent with rape.
Mr. Heyka also was shot in the head and had separate head injuries showing blunt force trauma to the head and neck, Miss Dudley said.
Mr. Sander’s autopsy showed a contact gunshot wound to the head, meaning the gun was touching the skin when it was fired, she said. He, too, had separate abrasions to his forehead, possibly from being hit with a gun, and he had several bruises on his legs, Miss Dudley testified.