LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — Day 5 of the Mason Sisk capital murder trial began with a juror being excused in a day that focused on testimony on DNA and ballistic evidence.
The juror was excused based on a work emergency according to the judge.
The state continues to call witnesses as they present their case against Mason Sisk. The state called seven witnesses on Thursday.
The state called two witnesses to talk about physical evidence on Friday. The first was Gina Peterson, the biology section chief for the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences.
Peterson’s testimony focused primarily on DNA evidence gathered during the investigation. She said three items were sampled for DNA in the case, a pair of gloves and the gun prosecutors believe was used in the killings.
Peterson said that only a partial DNA profile was found on the gun, not enough to compare to a reference standard. She said the DNA appeared to have markers saying it belonged to a male, but the sample wasn’t large enough to create a full DNA profile.
As for the gloves, Peterson said the left glove had DNA of at least three people in it including one male but the sample was hard to distinguish. She said did compare the male DNA profile from the glove to the Sisk family, but none of their DNA matched.
Peterson said the sample on the right glove was too mixed up to compare to anyone.
The state also called Brandon Best, a firearms expert from the Department of Forensic Sciences. The defense questioned Best about his methods while the jury was out of the courtroom, but the judge determined that Best qualified as a firearms expert and the jury returned to the courtroom for his testimony.
Best said that as a part of the investigation, he analyzed a 9mm Smith and Wesson pistol. He said he looked at the gun and bullets recovered from the scene and did test fires of the gun. Best said these test fires can be compared to other recovered projectiles due to marks left on a bullet when it’s fired.
Best testified his test-fired bullets did not exactly match the bullets recovered from the scene, which had signs of damage. He said the shell casings from his test fires did match five shell casings found at the scene.
Best also said he believed the casings had been fired from the 9mm, and reiterated that when questioned by the defense in cross-examination.
On day 3 of testimony, jurors heard from Sisk’s ex-girlfriend and were shown the gun used to commit the crimes.
Sisk is charged with killing five family members in September 2019. His first trial was declared a mistrial after prosecutors informed the court that FBI computer experts had finally unlocked Sisk’s adoptive mother’s phone.
Sisk, now 18, won’t face the death penalty if convicted but faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The state’s first witness of day 4 was a truck driver who knew John Sisk and called him “Dub.” That witness was questioned on what John had told him about Mason’s behavior.
The state called Gina Peterson, who works as the biology section chief for the Department of Forensic Sciences, for questioning on DNA samples found on gloves and the gun in the home. The jury is also hearing testimony from a state firearms expert.
Day 4 of testimony is ongoing and News 19’s Brian Lawson is in the courtroom; you can follow his live updates here on this blog as they happen.