Defense tries to pick apart prosecution’s story in murder trial

Defense for Alois Kudlach got into full swing Friday during the fifth day of the trial for his role in the shooting death of his wife, Nuria Kudlach.

Kudlach, 51, is charged with first- and third-degree murder, aggravated assault, possession of a weapon and interference with communications stemming from the shooting death of his wife in August 2015.

Defense attorney Karen Muir had previously called a forensic expert, Anita Zannin, to testify to her opinion on the blood evidence found at the scene of the shooting. Friday, Muir continued along the line of forensics with the appearance of famed pathologist Cyril Wecht. During his time as a pathologist, Wecht has been involved in several high-profile cases, including the JonBenet Ramsey murder case and his disagreements with findings in the John F. Kennedy presidential assassination.

Wecht said he was contacted by the defense to prepare a report based on the findings in the case, including statements by Kudlach, photos of the scene of the shooting and the autopsy report prepared by Dr. Harry Kamerow.

Wecht testified that he disagreed with the opinion of Kamerow that the final shot to the head that killed Nuria Kudlach was fired at a significant downward angle, indicating that Nuria had been “cowering” or was in some sort of crouched position. He demonstrated to jurors that the distance between the entrance of the bullet and where it was ultimately retrieved showed no significant downward angle.

Wecht also testified that the knife found at the scene — which the prosecution had argued should have had blood on it if it had been held by Nuria Kudlach at the time of the shooting — would not necessarily have blood on it depending on how it was held.

Wecht agreed during cross-examination with District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller that if she were holding the knife as Kudlach described in his police statement, it would likely show blood evidence.

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews