Physical evidence unsealed during second day of trial

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The second day of trial for two suspects in a violent home invasion last March was an emotional one as physical evidence was unveiled in the courtroom.

Sgt. Michael O’Hara, crime scene investigator and evidence custodian for the Troy Police Department, took the stand and unwrapped evidence that had been sealed since this month last year.

Among the evidence produced from the March 5, 2012 crime was a .410 sawed-off shotgun, two bloody kitchen knives, black gloves, a black ski mask, a cell phone and the house slippers the home invader, Thomas White, was wearing during the crime.

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Previous testimony from Monday painted a horrific picture of a young Troy couple fighting for their lives after White kicked in the front door of their home shortly after 1 a.m. The couple tried to appease White for about 30 minutes by gathering valuable belongings. Then they struggled physically with White for another half hour until the female victim was able to break free and call police.

As part of Tuesday’s testimony, O’Hara also noted there were 21 live .410 shells, one spent .410 round and three .45-caliber rounds recovered from the scene.

The couple each had to undergo surgeries to repair damage from knife wounds suffered in the ordeal while Thomas White died from his injuries at Troy Regional Medical Center.

At question in this trial is how White came to be at the victims’ home and if Parish Bean and Deanna McLeod, both now 21, are also responsible for the crimes he committed.

Det. Terry Miles and Lt. Lee Barnes also took the stand Tuesday, recounting conversations they had with Bean and McLeod.

Miles responded to the crime scene while White was still at the home. He said he recognized White from past dealings with the man. Later, at the hospital, White’s cousin told Miles that the man had spent the evening with another cousin, Parish Bean. Bean, at that time, was staying with his girlfriend, McLeod.

When Miles went to McLeod’s Woodland Hills Apartment, he noticed White’s car. It was pulled backwards into a parking spot.

The detective also testified about cell phone calls and a text placed from McLeod’s phone to White’ cell phone, including one that happened at 1:30 a.m. on March 5 during the time of the burglary and robbery at the victims’ home.

A TracFone agent also corroborated cell phone records on Tuesday.

Barnes took the stand to talk about his interviews with Bean and McLeod. He called the pairs’ statements “inconsistent” as their stories changed from waking up to find White gone on the morning of March 5, to admitting to dropping him off near the crime scene and waiting to pick him back up because he wanted to commit a robbery or burglary.

Jurors heard the audio recordings of the statements and at one point McLeod admitted, “I lied,” in reference to a prior story she’d told Barnes.

McLeod and Bean are both charged with one count of first-degree burglary and two counts of first-degree robbery.

The state will continue to call witnesses when the trial resumes on Thursday morning. The defense could begin calling witnesses to the stand next Monday.