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Defense rests in Pokorny slaying trial

| Monday, Oct. 22, 2007

Testimony concluded this morning in the trial of a Knoxville man accused of gunning down a state trooper.

The jury will hear closing arguments Tuesday morning and then will decide the fate of Leslie Mollett, 32, who is accused of fatally shooting state police Cpl. Joseph Pokorny.

Mollett could face the death penalty if he's convicted.

The defense called one witness this morning, a criminalist who disagreed with prosecution witnesses who have testified that Pokorny was on his knees with his hands in the air when a second and final shot was fired into Pokorny's head.

Pokorny, 45, of Moon, was gunned down Dec. 12, 2005, outside the Extended Stay America hotel in Carnegie. His hands were found above his head on the ground.

Forensic scientist Larry M. Dehus testified this morning that Pokorny's arms would have gone immediately limp and would have fallen to his sides before he hit the ground and that Pokorny could not have had his arms above his head.

Dehus also testified that he could find no wet spots or snow on Pokorny's knees that would indicate the trooper was kneeling when he was shot.

"After the second shot to the neck, the first thing that would have happened was that the arms would have dropped, then he fell backward," Dehus said. "The position the arms were found in did not result from the arms being over his head."

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