Leuthold Murder Trial Day 5: Investigators Discuss Findings on Electronics

Published 07/18 2014 11:52AM

Updated 07/19 2014 10:41AM


PEORIA - The Peoria trial of a former Baptist missionary is still not over after five days of witness testimony.

Nathan Leuthold is accused of killing his wife Denise at her parents' North Peoria home on Valentine's Day of last year.

This week the prosecution has put more than 30 witnesses on the stand and introduced a wide range of evidence.
Friday's testimony focused on information from digital forensics specialists.

The prosecution teamed called Detective Bill Lynn of the Bloomington Police Department to the stand Friday.

They also had Detective Feehan discuss information he recovered that included deleted calls and texts on both Aina and Nathan's phones.

Lynn laid out how he investigated information from Leuthold's laptop.

There was something he says he quickly noticed about Leuthold's Internet settings.
“It was changed to delete all internet history as soon as you exit the program,” Detective Lynn said.
And though information may have been deleted from the Internet history, it wasn't erased completely.
“As things are deleted if they're not overwritten on the hard drive they're still there to be recovered,” Detective Lynn said.
And recovered they were.
State's Attoney Jerry Brady had Detective Lynn read some of the searches he found while digging into Leuthold's computer.
Among many of the searches were:
-"How to silence a glock 40"
-"How to muffle a gun"
-"Hitting someone over the head to knock them out" 
-"Letha Injections"
-"Bathtube electrocution"
-"Where to buy chloride potassium"
-"Sleep inducing knockout"
-"Suicide by injecting air"

Lynn also found deleted files.
“I recovered those ones from the recycle bin,” Detective Lynn said.
But the defense came back swinging.
Attorney Hugh Toner emphasized that Leuthold's laptop was not password protected.
There also was no timestamp for some searches.
But one point got across to everyone in Courtroom 214 Friday.
Once it's on the Internet once, it's on there forever.
There have been a number of twists and turns in the trial.
And the defense still has a chance to put witnesses on the stand once the prosecution rests.  
So far in the trial there has been a large amount of law enforcement officers called as witnesses.
However residents, who live near the home on Mossville Road, which is where Denise Leuthold was shot and killed, have also taken the stand this week.
While many other witnesses had varying backgrounds, it was Aina Dobilaite, Nathan Leuthold's alleged mistress who many were anxious to hear from.
Earlier this week the prosecution had her read an email Aina sent her mother in Lithuania after Denise died.
It was sent before the Tuesday funeral.
“It might be quite difficult on Monday and Tuesday but after that it should be better,” Aina read. “Children cried only once when they first learned about it. Janelle did not say once that she wanted her but she. If she needs anything she asks for Aina.”
Aina still maintains her original statements that she and Nathan Leuthold's relationship was neither physical nor romantic.

PEORIA - In its fifth day the murder trial of Nathan Leuthold is heavily focusing on how police investigated his alleged alibi the day his wife was murdered.  Friday morning picked right back up where things left off the day before, and the jury arrived an hour earlier at the request of Judge Kevin Lyons.  Thursday he said he wanted to get as much in this week as possible, hinting that things could wrap up Friday.  The prosecution team began playing a four-hour long video Thursday afternoon. It's a video of police interviewing the suspect on the evening that Denise, his wife, was killed. The jury finished watching that video Friday morning. 

Though most of Thursday's portion of the video seemed to reveal relatively neutral responses from Leuthold, Friday's part of the video showcased a much different interviewee.  He argued that police were treating him as a suspect. However, police were up front with him.  The jury clearly hears the detectives clearly tell Leuthold that his story isn't matching up.  At one point they say his timeline is not actually possible. Leuthold frequently brings up his wife's alleged depression in that video.

After that video ended, Detective Leigh was still on the witness stand for questioning from State's Attorney, Jerry Brady.

Defense attorney Hugh Toner objects to Brady asking Leigh, who was lead detective on this case, if he ever told the media about Nathan Leuthold searching for potassium or insulin.  That objection was overruled and Leigh responded, "No."  The relevance of that question was David Smith, an inmate currently serving time on drug charges, gave testimony earlier in the week that Leuthold told him that his initial plan was to poison his wife.
Smith says Leuthold specifically told him he was going to use potassium or insulin.

Detective Leigh also validated testimony from Diane Parish who lives on Mossville Road.  Earlier this week she says she saw a suspicious man walking past her home with a black, hooded sweatshirt. She says the person was walking away from Robinson Park, where Denise's car was found.  When police interviewed Parish she says she covered up part of each face in the photo line-up. She says she did that because part of the face she saw was shielded by the hoodie the man was wearing.  He and Detective Timothy Moore visited Parish at her home and showed her that photo line-up two days after Denise's death, on Feb. 16, 2013.

Another big part of Leigh's time on the witness stand included yet another video.  This one showed Detectives Leigh and Moore driving to the Starbucks on Knoxville Rd. then to the home at 700 W. Mossville Road.  They timed that to be about seven minutes and 30 seconds.  Next, they drove from the Mossville residence to Robinson Park which took about one minute and 13 seconds.  Once they got to the park, Leigh walked from Robinson Park to the Mossville home. During the cross examination, Toner brought up that Leigh walked through the trail at Robinson Park for part of his walk to the home. He also noted the traffic lights they had to stop at, showing it could take different times.
Leigh said he and Moore drove to and from all the places Leuthold claimed to have visited on Valentine's Day of 2013.

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