By Clint Van Zandt and Arjun Ramachandran
Iskra Boutwell, who is on trial for shooting the family dog, took the stand on Tuesday.
Iskra Boutwell took the stand and had her story heavily contested, but prosecutor Jeremy Loomis said, “I don’t believe that the dog should have been shot by the victim, I believe the victim should have been shot.”
The jury will now hear from the expert witness called by the defense, Joseph Rosenbaum, who performed on-site stress tests.
Due to labelling errors, the jury is being presented with eight set of results. One showed six different results and the other, five, produced sets of two different tests. Rosenbaum told the jury that none of the tests showed any of the genetic material.
Court adjourned on Tuesday to resume deliberations.
The state called Dr. Anthony Huber, to the stand as their final witness. Huber believes that there were multiple severe maladies in the family dog, with this not being the first time it had a problem.
Dr. Huber said that parts of the male dog’s skin disease was an accumulation of wounds; he said, “His skin was folded up and matted, so it’s not as severe as dog skin disease, but the concentration of wounds is severe.”
The prosecution said that Huber’s diagnosis was different from two other laboratories that had done lab work on the dog and the dog’s DNA has not been found. Huber said, “If all labs put us together, we do have DNA, but not as much as we thought.”
The jury is charged with working through the amount of DNA found in the dog’s body and then compare that to the defendant’s DNA.
The dog, named Mozart, died after the shooting.
Prosecutors say that a witness took the dog into his yard, identified him and called the police. Prosecutors pointed out that if Mozart was found alive, he probably would have been killed the same way, so the prosecution says, there is no reason to kill him if the dog died.
Defense attorney Angie Ball said, “I really don’t think that it is cruel to take a dog, which has been attacked by cats and be trying to get it to trust and love a man, and, to have them take that same method to a woman that loves the dog.”
The prosecution also brought in a veterinarian, Dr. Gaige Grosskreutz, who had evaluated the dog before it was shot, and he testified that the dog would have died after several wounds had been suffered. He also said that Mozart would have struggled and shown no signs of wanting to live.
Before the shooting, the defendant’s wife, Theresa Boutwell, and the homeowner, Joseph Rosenbaum, had first met in court. Rosenbaum said that Mozart had had several previous incidents with Boutwell and that he was feeling stressed. He said he decided to buy a gun to protect himself.
Rosenbaum testified, “My concern was that her dog had been stealing fish from my fish pond, so I went to the court house and made some statements.”
Rosenbaum said that he had bought the gun as a precaution. In addition, Rosenbaum testified that he had asked state prosecutors if they could change the terms of his sentence.
When the prosecutor asked if the plea deal was changed, Rosenbaum said that he said, “No, thank you.” The prosecutor then asked if there was another way to get the points he was looking for. Rosenbaum said that he would have taken another plea deal.
Rosenbaum said the reason he ended up shooting the dog was because the dog was attempting to chew the gun, which he was cleaning, and he feared for his life.