Uploaded: Thursday, July 19, 2001, 2:45
Fitzhugh seemed calm on morning of crime
Defense calls neighbor, gardener, others to stand
by Bill D'Agostino
One of Kenneth Fitzhugh's business associates testified that Fitzhugh
did not appear anxious or in a rush on the morning when his wife
was brutally murdered.
Thomas Moore, a lawyer who worked in a home office next door to
the Fitzhugh house last year, was called by Fitzhugh's attorney,
Thomas Nolan, to take the stand this morning.
On May 5, 2000, Fitzhugh and Moore worked together throughout
the morning trying to fix a computer problem. Moore testified that
he saw Fitzhugh in the office "off and on" from about 10 a.m. to
Fitzhugh is on trial for allegedly killing of his wife of 33 years,
Kristine Fitzhugh, in their Southgate neighborhood home. The murder
is expected to have occurred between 12:08 p.m., when a FedEx driver
saw no cars at the Fitzhugh home, and 1:30 p.m., when Kenneth Fitzhugh
returned to the house with two friends of the family and subsequently
discovered his dead wife's body.
Thomas Rogers, a forensic pathologist from Alameda County who
conducted a second autopsy on Kristine Fitzhugh's body for the defense,
also took the stand today.
Rogers' testimony -- that Kristine was killed by seven blows on
the back of the head, numerous wounds on the front, and strangulation
-- was similar to that of the Santa Clara County pathologist Gregory
Schmunk, who called by the district attorney earlier in the case.
Besides doing an autopsy, Schmunk had also looked at the crime
scene and used blood evidence to give the conclusion that Kristine
was killed in the kitchen, and not in the basement as the defense
Rogers, however, did not view the crime scene and is not a blood
spatter expert so he could not corroborate Schmunk's opinion or
Schmunk himself was in the courtroom todaylistening to Rogers'
testimony. Nolan briefly recalled him to the stand to clear up a
logistical matter concerning the location of a section of Kristine's
skull that Rogers had not been able to look at in his autopsy. Rogers
believed that Santa Clara County had removed it, but Schmunk was
unaware of where it was. He said that he would find out and report
back to the court next week.
Nolan also called a gardener who worked in the Southgate neighborhood
on May 5. Speaking through a Spanish interpreter, he said that he
briefly saw Fitzhugh that morning, but could not remember for certain
what time he saw Fitzhugh or what he was wearing.
Nolan's case continues this afternoon when he is expected to call
12 witnesses to try to cast doubt upon the people's case.