- Associated Press - Thursday, February 12, 2015

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - The former owner of the ranch where two bodies were found more than 30 years ago testified Thursday in Waterloo along with a DNA analyst and a criminologist in the trial of an Iowa woman accused of killing her husband and his girlfriend.

The case against Theresa Supino continued with testimony from former Copper Dollar Ranch owner Harold Snedeker, forensic biologist Emily Herren and Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation criminologist Michael Schmit, the Newton Daily News reported. Supino was arrested in March in connection with the 1983 killings of Steven Fisher and Melisa Gregory, whose bodies were found on the ranch.

Supino, 54, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder.

Defense attorneys began questioning Snedeker on Wednesday about his involvement in drug trafficking and wrapped up cross-examination Thursday asking about his whereabouts the night of the slayings. Judge Terry Rickers previously ruled that drug use and trafficking weren’t relevant topics to the case, but he allowed it because it was part of a line of questioning.

Snedeker said he began trafficking drugs because the ranch was struggling financially, and that he once sent Fisher to Florida to fetch a $36,000 load of marijuana. But Snedeker refused to provide the names of his Florida drug contacts, inhibiting the defense’s efforts to connect the killings to the drug trafficking.

On Thursday, Snedeker said he went out with his brother-in-law the night of the killings. Defense attorneys said this testimony varied from a past interview with investigators, in which Snedeker said he made a trip to Des Moines. Still, he later told prosecutors he wasn’t involved in the slayings.

Herren testified about her examination of DNA from a pair of Supino’s jeans. She said semen found on the jeans matched Fisher, the likelihood of which she said was one in 150 trillion, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported. But she said she had no timeframe of when the semen was deposited.

During Schmit’s testimony, he presented his findings from blood analysis of items from the trailer where Gregory was found dead. He said Fisher’s blood was located in the trailer, as well as DNA that matched Snedeker and his brother-in-law. Supino’s DNA was not found at the crime scene, but Schmit said many cases don’t yield the suspect’s DNA.


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