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Experts detail Minton’s connection to murder

By Rose Laudicina
Staff Writer

HILLSBOROUGH – As the trial of the State vs. Brian Minton continues, expert witnesses are taking the stand for the state to testify about evidence that could link Minton to the murder of Josh Bailey.

SBI trace-evidence analyst Jonathan Macy testified on Tuesday and Wednesday about his findings after analyzing various latex gloves, zip ties and duct tape recovered in connection with the case.

Fourteen latex gloves collected from various sites, including the door of Minton’s Honda, a black trash bag buried with Bailey and the floor of the Minton’s garage, were analyzed to determine a connection.

Macy described in detail to the jury three types of tests he performed.

First he looked at the gloves to compare color and appearance, then he inspected the sizing of the gloves and took measurements and finally he evaluated what the gloves were made of.

After inspecting each glove, Macy said he determined that the glove from the trash bag at what he called gravesite two, Bailey’s second burial site near Jordan Lake, and the glove found in Minton’s Honda were “consistent in color, appearance, physical measurements and chemical composition.”

However, Macy was unable to show conclusive similarities when looking at the other gloves, as some were different colors, torn or had been stretched, which prevented him from taking accurate measurements.

Minton, 21, has been charged with first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping and conspiracy to commit murder and kidnapping in the death of 20-year-old Josh Bailey, who was murdered on July 29, 2008. Minton is the first of six people charged with the murder and kidnapping of Bailey to go on trial, and prosecutors are alleging Minton was the ringleader of the group.
Macy was able to make another connection to Minton’s property when he examined zip ties found in Minton’s garage and on Bailey’s wrists.

“The nylon cable ties from the wrist of the victim were consistent of the chemical composition of ties identified as being from the garage,” Macy said.

He did admit to two slight differences in the size and color, but said the zip ties from Bailey’s wrist were exposed to environmental conditions that accounted for the discoloration.

The state projected photos taken of the different zip ties on the wall so the jury could see in detail what Macy was testifying to when he discussed the various ridges and numbers stamped on the ties.

Minton’s attorney, James Glover, asked Macy if he could account for why the zip ties had different numbers on them, seemingly trying to prove they could not have been the same as those found in Minton’s garage.

Macy told Glover he had visited a zip tie factory where all the zip ties are compiled in a bin and picked up at random.

“It is not unusual to have ties of different numbers in the same bag,” Macy said.

Glover also grilled Macy on his previous testimony about a piece of duct tape found in the woods near the gravesite that Macy said could have originated from a roll of duck tape found in Minton’s co-defendant Jacob Maxwell’s car.

“You reported there were no physical matches found between the two of them, but that they were consistent in color construction and composition,” Glover said, adding that the way the piece found was cut differed from the end of the duck tape roll.

“Just because the ends are different doesn’t mean that a piece of tape couldn’t come from the roll,” Macy responded, “Other pieces could have been removed.”

The prosecution hopes to rest today (Thursday) as they wrap up testimony from other expert witnesses from the SBI.

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