Jurors in Morris kidnapping trial to see trunk of Arochi's car

McKINNEY, Texas -- What was decided Wednesday in one of the most high-profile cases at the Collin County Courthouse in a very long time is near-unprecedented.

Judge Mark Rusch is going to allow the jury in Christina Morris' kidnapping case to see Enrique Arochi's dark-colored Chevy Camaro on Friday morning. Arochi is the last person who was seen with Morris back in 2014 and, according to court documents, her DNA was found in the trunk of his car.

Prosecutors argued that it serves their purpose in showing the showing the jury how large that trunk is, spacially.

The defense initially had also recommended having the jury see the trunk, but late Wednesday, Arochi's attorney expressed to the judge that alterations were made to the vehicle that do not represent how it looked at the time of the alleged offense.

Nonethless, the judge has agreed for the jury to see the evidence. Judge Rusch said he will figure out the logistics to wheeling in the vehicle to the loading dock for the jury to see.

In the courtroom on Wednesay, a criminalist testified to taking pictures of Arochi on Sept. 3, 2014, just days after Christina Morris went missing. Pictures of Arochi's right arm show discoloration in certain areas, likely from injuries. A close-up of Arochi's right hand show abrasions and scabs.

The defense suggested in its questioning that some photos had different lighting that didn't accurately depict the discoloration to Arochi's arm.

The prosecution also spent considerable time going over a multitude of pictures taken of Arochi's car by criminalists. In those pictures, there are very noticeable dents to the right fender.

An employee with the Plano Police Department testified that they placed a court-ordered tracker on Arochi's vehicle shortly after Morris' disappearance. The witness said the passenger side of the undercarriage, where the tracker was placed, was very clean -- better than "showroom quality" -- and that even newer cars usually have dust there.

On Tuesday, the prosecution showed surveillance footage of Arochi cleaning the rear of his car at a gas station the day after Morris went missing.

The witness on Wednesday did not say what information was gleaned from the tracker.

The trial was also briefly diverted Wednesday by a peculiar piece of evidence.

A criminalist had testified to an olive jar filled with cinnamon, oil, a pieces of paper with scribbling on it was placed in a shoe found in Arochi's room. The witness testified that it may be related to some kind of "spell or superstition," but it was later determined by the judge that the contents of the jar were inadmissable as evidence.

The prosecution alerted the judge that it hopes to introduce DNA evidence on Thursday.

It is the judge's hope to put this case in the hands of the jury by Tuesday of next week.

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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