Forensics Expert Testifies in Roberts Trial - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

10/14/03

Forensics Expert Testifies in Roberts Trial

South Carolina Law Enforcement Division's forensic expert, Diane Botie. South Carolina Law Enforcement Division's forensic expert, Diane Botie.

It was another emotional day in court as South Carolina Law Enforcement Division's forensic expert, Diane Botie, took the stand and revealed details from a crime scene on January 8, 2002. That day, Beaufort County sheriff's deputies LCpl. Dana Tate and Cpl. AJ Coursen were shot and killed at 21 Riley Road.

"When I arrived, Officer Coursen's head, basically, was laying over the cot, facing the door," she testified. "His head was down on the cot. His arm was kind of resting across the stool and his legs were stretched back in the hallway toward the closet area."

Through her testimony, Botie linked the magazine found in the murder weapon, which was discovered near Broad River Elementary School, with the defendant, Tyree Roberts, also known as Abdiyyah ben Alkeulanyahh. "I identified the left thumb of the defendant to the print that I lifted from the magazine," she said.

While on the stand, Botie showed the jury where the casings from the shootings were located when she arrived at the crime scene. She also told the jury bullet holes from two different weapons were found on both sides of the closet door in the bedroom, where witnesses say Roberts was hiding when the two deputies arrived at the home. She testified that projectiles had gone through the door from the inside the closet.

In his cross examination of Botie, Roberts continued to imply law enforcement had planted evidence on him to link him to the murders.

Reported by: Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com

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