Last updated: July 18. 2013 6:48PM - 311 Views
Jack Latta
Staff Writer

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PRESTONSBURG — The double-murder trial of Berry Hall continued Wednesday, as the science behind the shooting was examined by forensics and evidence experts.

The prosecution rested its case after its last witnesses were called to testify.

Testimony was given by Jim Lewis, an evidence custodian for Kentucky State Police, who said he personally oversaw evidence associated with the case, including one Savage rifle 30.06, one bullet take from the body of Lisa Tackett, bullet fragments taken from the body of Alan Tackett, and a swab taken from the head wound on Alan Tackett.

The items were delivered to Paul Dorman, a forensic fingerprint analyst. Dorman testified that there were no fingerprints lifted from the weapon or bullet casings.

Tracy Kaeff was brought in by the prosecution to testify about gunshot residue kits taken from the scene. Kaeff said the kits indicated that all three identifiers for gunshot residue were found on the palm of Berry Hall.

Jessica Copeland, a molecular biologist and specialist in firearms, testified that the weapon, a Savage Arms 30.06, was in fact the weapon that fired the shots that killed Lisa and Alan Tackett. She also stated shell casings recovered from the pocket of Berry Hall matched the firearm as well.

The defense has accepted the testimony of most of the Commonwealth’s witnesses without offering any cross-examination.

Lastly, the jurors heard from two separate medical examiners, who testified as to how Alan and Lisa Tackett died.

Dr. Kristen Rolf, a medical examiner with the University of Kentucky, said Alan Tackett sustained “significant injuries,” including “a large, gaping, lacerated wound on the right forehead area.”

Rolf said the number of fractures in the skull and the wound itself were consistent with a shot fired at a distance.

Defendant Berry Hall seldom raised his eyes from the floor, as jurors were shown pictures from the autopsy of Lisa and Alan Tackett.

After the prosecution concluded its case, motions were heard by Judge Johnny Ray Harris. The defense asked for a directed verdict with regard to the four counts of wanton endangerment. Judge Harris sided with the prosecution and overruled the motion, noting how close the children were believed to be at the time of the shooting.

The trial will resume on Monday, as the defense begins calling witnesses.

The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office is seeking the death penalty for Berry Hall in the 2008 double murder of Alan and Lisa Tackett.

James Hunt, found guilty of murdering his wife, Bettina Hunt, in her home on November 2004, was the last person to receive the death penalty in Floyd County.

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