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Suspect denies stabbing woman, detective testifies

Evans Ganthier, 30, of Port Jefferson Station is

Evans Ganthier, 30, of Port Jefferson Station is accused in the murder of Rebecca Koster. (Feb. 9, 2010) Photo Credit: Handout

Although a Port Jefferson Station man seemed comfortable describing how he mutilated the body of a woman he'd met in a bar, a Suffolk homicide detective testified Thursday the man was unhappy to hear that she died of a stab wound.

"No, don't say that," said Evans Ganthier, according to Det. Philip Frendo. Ganthier, 33, had insisted that Rebecca Koster died on Dec. 3, 2009, after she tripped over some dumbbells in his garage and hit her head on the floor.

Frendo testified during a pretrial hearing before state Supreme Court Justice Richard Ambro to determine whether Ganthier's statements will be admissible at trial.

When he was first arrested on Dec. 13, 2009, Ganthier said he panicked, took the Medford woman's body to Connecticut on the ferry and then cut off all her fingertips, toes, both ears, her nose, her hair and two tattoos, Frendo testified. Then he set the body on fire.

Police let Ganthier go when he didn't admit killing Koster, but arrested him again Feb. 8, 2010, after getting an autopsy report showing she had no head wound and died of a stab wound to the liver.

Ganthier said he couldn't have stabbed her there, because "I'm a righty," Frendo testified. But Frendo said he told Ganthier he didn't know how Ganthier and Koster were positioned when she was stabbed.

Ganthier suggested calling her parents. "Maybe she already had a stab wound to her liver," he said, according to Frendo.

During questioning by defense attorney William Keahon of Hauppauge, Frendo said he told Ganthier something went wrong between them.

But Frendo said Ganthier replied, "If there were problems, I wouldn't need a knife. I'm not a knife kind of person."

Frendo said he replied, "I'm not so sure of that, given what you did to Rebecca." Ganthier yelled that was only to hide her identity, Frendo said.

Earlier, Keahon asked Frendo about a chain that can be used to handcuff a defendant to the floor in the Homicide Squad's interview room.

"Do you hook him up to that restraining device on the floor?" Keahon asked.

Ganthier nodded his head -- and then shook it when Frendo said no. Ganthier often stared at Frendo, shaking his head at his testimony.

At another point, Keahon asked Frendo if the interrogation had been secretly videotaped, and Frendo said that wasn't the police department's protocol.

"Let's answer my question," Keahon said.

Assistant District Attorney Janet Albertson objected: "He answered your question. You just didn't like the answer."

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