A flat tire, broken jack and blood on third car discussed at Scott Doll trial
Submitted by Howard Owens on May 10, 2010 - 1:09pm
BATAVIA, NY -- The Pontiac G6 that may have been at the heart of an alleged dispute between Scott Doll and Joseph Benaquist had a flat tire when the Sheriff's Office took it into evidence following the discovery of Benaquist's body lying in a pool of blood in his own driveway on Feb. 16, 2009.
A Nissan Altima parked next to the G6 had a broken jack laying behind the front passenger tire when Investigator Timothy Weis took photographs of the scene as he gathered evidence that night, Weis testified today.
Weis was the first witness called today by District Attorney Lawrence Friedman after Sgt. Steve Mullen finished testimony he started Friday.
At one point, while still on the stand, Weis held up the broken jack to show jurors. He said two pivot points were turned in. The jack was "not functional," he said.
Friedman also showed Weis photographs Weis said he took of the side and undercarriage of the Altima. He had Weis circle two spots where Weis said he found blood stains, including one on the undercarriage.
The bloody imprints of sneakers were found on the driveway between the two cars. There was a battery-dead flashlight on the driveway between a pickup truck, parked in front of the Altima and the G6.
Scott Doll is accused of murdering Benaquist. He was taken into custody the night of the murder after being found walking north on North Lake Road in old tennis shoes carrying a jack and lug wrench.
There was a Ford Windstar registered to Doll's mother parked at an old gas station at the corner of Main and North Lake roads in Pembroke.
That location is 17 minutes, walking, according to Google Maps, from 693 Knapp Road, where Benaquist's body was found.
Today, Friedman introduced photographic and blood evidence -- with Weis verifying that he collected the evidence -- showing blood drops and smears on the interior and exterior of the Windstar.
Weis also testified that the jack was missing from the Windstar and that the jack Doll was found carrying matched the same kind of jack Weis is familiar with from Windstars he's previously owned.
Weis recalled precisely, without consulting notes, the mileage of the G6 (23,633) and a Chevy Malibu (73,801).
During pre-trial motions, Friedman said the G6 and Malibu were key pieces of evidence in the case.
"We anticipate that it will be established that it was these very cars that led to the murder of Joseph Benaquist," Friedman said.
Friedman said that Benaquist had bought the car using Doll's account at the Adesa auto auction for his own personal use and paid $10,000 toward the $13,300 purchase, but that Doll never delivered the $10,000 to the financing company.
Doll's defense Attorney Paul Cambria disputed that assertion prior to the trial.
In opening remarks, Cambria opened the door to speculation that Doll's son, Josh, may have been at the murder scene before Scott Doll. Cambria, saying that Scott Doll found Benaquist just before he died and that Benaquist's final words were, "The boy. The boy."
Cambria said it was Josh who normally did business with Benaquist and Doll only went to Benaquist's home after Benaquist and Josh failed to bring the G6 to the Adesa auction house, as he said Benaquist had agreed to do.
Today, Friedman introduced into evidence Benaquist's driver's license and an access pass to the Adesa auction in the name of Doll's other son, Brandon. The two documents were found by the coroner in Benaquist's wallet.
As for Mullen's testimony, there was a point where Mullen apparently thought he was being asked a question about a forensic examination of Scott Doll's mobile phone and discussed such an examination. The question was actually about whether there was an examination of Joseph Benaquist's phone.
After Mullen stepped down, the attorneys conferred with Judge Robert Noonan and then Noonan instructed jurors that the attorneys wanted to clarify that Benaquist's was not examined.
The trial was resuming at 2 p.m. with Weis returning to the stand for further direct questioning by Friedman.