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KJAS: Investigator testifies he knows of no physical evidence linking murder suspect to killing
JASPER - by Mike Lout/KJAS and Rayburn Broadcasting Company
Jasper County Sheriffs Investigator Bob Walker shocked the courtroom on Tuesday when he admitted that he knew of no physical evidence linking the shooting death of Curtis Hubbard to the defendant in the case, Joe Nathan David.
David, who has been held at the Jasper County Jail with no bond for over two years, is on trial for the April 3rd, 2011 murder of Hubbard, a Jasper barber whose lifeless body was found slumped over the steering wheel of his bullet riddled vehicle alongside Farm to Market Road 3414.
The response came during a cross examination of Walker by defense attorney Michael Stewart Ratcliff. During the round, Ratcliff asked Walker what specific evidence linked the defendant to the crime, and after a long pause, Walker said none.
On Monday, a firearms specialist from the Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Lab in Tyler testified that two guns said to be connected to the crime did not match any of the projectiles found in Hubbards body or truck.
First to testify for the prosecution was Deputy John Cooper of the Jasper County Sheriffs Department, who was the first to arrive at the scene.
Cooper said that he was dispatched to the location on Farm to Market Road 3414, in the Westlake Community, when a woman called 911 dispatchers and said that someone had fired shots from a vehicle.
Cooper said he arrived to find Hubbards vehicle had ran off the road and was sitting still near the woods with the engine still running with Hubbard slumped over the wheel.
Also called to testify by District Attorney Steve Hollis was Deputy Scott Jacks, who said that he saw tracks on the shoulder of the road, which he said indicated that the vehicle had veered off the highway. He said that several road signs had also been knocked down.
Jacks also said that he saw glass in the ditch, which appeared to be from a back window of Hubbards vehicle, which had been shot out.
On Monday, a forensic pathologist who performed an autopsy on Hubbards body following his death said that the procedure revealed that the victim had been shot twice in the upper left back, and while one of the gunshots only grazed his skin, that the other went through his lungs, heart and liver, resulting in his death.
However, in the latest round of testimony, investigators revealed that they could only find where one bullet went through the seat of the vehicle Hubbard was driving.