A bulldozer operator testified how he discovered a skull in a San Marino backyard in 1994 on the first day of hearings to determine whether Christian Gerhartsreiter will stand trial for the 1985 murder of LASFS member John Sohus.
Prosecutors also called a witness to help verify that the skull and other skeletal remains uncovered by authorities are those of Sohus. Identification was complicated by the fact that he was adopted reports the LA Times:
Prosecutors on Wednesday moved toward establishing that the skeleton was Sohus’, calling to the stand a half-sister who said she never knew of the man’s existence. Lori Moltz, 55, said in brief testimony that a sheriff’s deputy came to her home in late 2008 to take a swab from the inside of her mouth. She also testified that she recognized her mother’s handwriting on John Sohus’ birth and adoption records.
There was another interesting byplay when a defense attorney asked Superior Court Judge Jared Moses for permission to keep calling Gerhartsreiter by his alias, Clark Rockefeller. Moses refused, quoted in the Times saying “I honestly have never seen a circumstance where a defendant is referred to in court by one of his AKAs.”
Additional details appear in this version of the Times story.
The Pasadena Star-News has the fullest account of what went on in the courtroom, though little of the extra detail is substantive news.