A forensic scientist on Tuesday said the spatters, smears and pools of blood in a Medford woman’s car provide some information about how she was attacked and led him to believe many of her 43 stab wounds were inflicted elsewhere.
But he conceded that alternate interpretations of the blood patterns could be valid and he could not say if the attack on Sarah Goode, 21, continued where her body was found deep in some Medford woods, almost a mile from where her BMW was abandoned.
Forensic scientist Donald Doller of the Suffolk Crime Laboratory testified at the first-degree murder trial of Dante Taylor, 21, of Mastic, who is accused of raping and killing Goode on June 7, 2014.
During questioning by Assistant District Attorney Janet Albertson, Doller said he could interpret six groups of bloodstains in and on the car. In one, a series of smears on the ceiling was likely a bloody hand touching or brushing against it.
A group of drops on the lower part of the front passenger door likely came from an already bloodied Goode being stabbed or hit just outside the door, Doller said. Another group was likely the result of her head being hit or stabbed while next to the front passenger’s headrest, he said.
Bloodstains on the passenger’s door and a clump of Goode’s hair ripped off and caught between the door and car body was probably the result of the door being closed on her hair, Doller said. He couldn’t tell, though, if she was moving into or out of the car, he said.
And a hand-shaped print on the car hood, already identified as Taylor’s, was likely left by his hand covered in Goode’s blood, Doller said.
For all the blood in and on her car, Doller said the attack must have continued elsewhere. Considering how many times she was stabbed, he said he would have expected to see more blood smears from touching the car and spatters from a bloody knife being swung in the car.
During cross-examination by defense attorney John Lewis Jr. of Farmingdale, Doller said his interpretations of the patterns are not the only possible explanations for how the attack took place.
“There are times you can’t definitively say a scenario, and you have to consider other possibilities,” he said.
Doller told both lawyers that although blood can be found days later in soil and vegetation such as where Goode was found, rain and humidity can wash it away.
Doller’s testimony came after Lewis asked for a mistrial because he had not seen detailed photographs he used for his analysis ahead of time. Albertson said he’d been given versions of the photos in January and could have asked for better quality picture any time.
State Supreme Court Justice John Collins denied the defense request, saying Taylor had “not been prejudiced in the least” by Lewis not seeing the better photos.