Blood spatter expert discloses location of shooting in Russell trial

Published 12:07 pm Thursday, November 18, 2010

By KATIE HURST/ Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA — Prosecuting attorneys assembled a full-size, three-dimensional model of a laundry room inside the courtroom Nov. 18 during the fifth day of the capital murder trial of Ryan Gerald Russell.

Russell, 37, is accused of shooting 11-year-old Katherine Helen Gillespie with a .40-caliber handgun June 16, 2008 in his home at 5048 Kerry Downs Road in Inverness.



The model constructed in the courtroom was built to mimic the exact dimensions and layout of the laundry room at 5048 Kerry Downs Road, including the presence of a washer and dryer.

The state’s final witness, forensic scientist and blood spatter pattern analysis expert Angelo DellaManna, used the model to indicate to the jury the location of the shooting. DellaManna used a full-size doll to indicate Gillespie’s position in the room.

Based on his analysis and interpretation of the blood spatter in the laundry room, DellaManna said he concluded Gillespie sustained a gunshot wound to the head while she was positioned with her head in a small 12-inch space between the left side of the dryer and the north wall of the room.

DellaManna said her head was positioned between 18-36 inches above the floor and was entering the cubby space at the time of the gunshot.

Medical examiner Adel Shaker testified Nov. 17 that Gillespie died of a contact gunshot wound to the right lower side of her head.

Circuit Court Judge Michael Joiner dismissed the jury for lunch at 11:30 p.m. and the trail will resume at 1:30 p.m. when the defense will begin presenting its case.