Murder trial: medical report, scene evidence

Keith Allen’s trial in the Brett Torres shooting entered its third day on Thursday, with most of the testimony and exhibits about what police found that afternoon at the crime scene.

Allen is charged with first degree murder and using a deadly weapon to commit a felony. He pleaded not guilty to both counts, claiming he acted in self-defense.

Lincoln County Attorney Rebecca Harling began Thursday’s session by calling two medical professionals from Great Plains Health Hospital.

And, for the rest of the day, Deputy County Attorney Tanya Roberts-Connick methodically presented evidence compiled by local law enforcement, painting a picture of what happened on the day of the alleged murder. .

Harling began by calling Dr Julie Query, the emergency room doctor who administered life-saving measures to Torres upon arrival at Great Plains Health.

Query testified to Torres’ gunshot wounds, with Harling asking follow-up questions to translate medical terms into layman’s terms.

Query testified that despite the best efforts of the emergency medical team, Torres never had a heartbeat or breathing in the hospital and was “not responsive to any stimulation.” “

After 10 to 20 minutes of trying to revive Torres, the 25-year-old was pronounced dead at 3:09 p.m. that afternoon – May 22, 2020.

Then Harling called the GPH’s physician assistant, Cameron Ourada, who examined Allen at the hospital that day. Ourada said Allen was brought to GPH by law enforcement officers after complaining of chest pain and pain in his left arm. Ourada guided the jury through the tests given to Allen to determine heart disease. During these tests, Ourada said Allen’s behavior was “anxious, agitated” and although his heart rate was rapid, that was not of concern.

At the end of her Allen test, Ourada found that “the tests were all normal,” regarding the possibility of a heart attack. Ourada diagnosed Allen with anxiety and prescribed the sedative Antivan. Ourada testified that he ultimately found Allen fit for imprisonment and Allen was referred to court officers.

In cross-examination, defense lawyer Todd Lancaster asked Qurada what Allen’s heart rate was at the time of questioning. Qurada said Allen had a high heart rate and was sweating profusely, symptoms that could be signs of a heart attack that needed to be checked by a medical professional. Lancaster asked if Allen had described any previous medical conditions of sciatica and fibromyalgia. Qurada confirmed that Allen complained about these conditions when discussing his medical history.

Then, around 10 a.m., Roberts-Connick called North Platte Police investigator Justin Erickson to the stand.

The two men spent the remainder of the day presenting evidence gathered by investigators, including more than 50 exhibits that were compiled to develop the case against Allen.

Erickson testified that he was at his office at 2:30 p.m. – 2:32 p.m. that day when the call came about the 2 a.m. and Chestnut, who was a few blocks from the police station. Erickson immediately headed there and on the way received another dispatch with the address – 101 N. Chestnut.

Upon arrival, Erickson said other police officers were already at the scene, as well as a hysterical woman, who was later identified as Amanda Beall, Torres’ ex-girlfriend, and a handcuffed man, identified like Allen.

Erickson said he saw two automobiles, an older model Ford Focus and an older model Chevy Tahoe, parked side by side on the north side of the house at 101 N. Chestnut. Both cars were facing west.

Erickson saw the Tahoe’s driver side door open slightly with a tall man slumped in the driver’s seat. One of his legs was sticking out the door.

Erickson was unable to elicit a response from the victim, but noted a considerable amount of blood throughout the vehicle. Later, testimonies established that the cars were 30 inches apart.

The passenger’s door of the Focus, containing Allen in the passenger seat, and the driver’s side door of the Tahoe, containing Torres in the driver’s seat, were aligned.

Erickson’s testimony was supplemented by several aerial photos of the area from Google, as well as numerous photographs taken on the ground at the scene of the crime.

The photographs contained images of extensive evidence. In this regard, Roberts-Connick methodically presented the photos, as well as Erickson’s testimony about the evidence and the evidence itself.

Of the evidence presented to the jury, most attention came when Erickson walked to the front of the jury stand to show the handgun that was used in the shooting and the ammunition that was found in Allen’s house.

Three of the jurors motioned for Erickson to rotate the balls so they could see them up close.

As for the series of events that day, Erickson established that Beall was driving the Focus, having picked up Allen to take him home. Torres was driving the Tahoe near Allen’s house.

Erickson’s testimony was supported by security footage from outside the Federal Building, located at 300 E. Third. The video came from cameras located at the northeast and southeast corners of the building. The videos were used by both the prosecution and the defense to show vehicles near the house seconds before the incident.

A 911 call from Beall was broadcast for court, but little evidence emerged as Beall was hysterical and mostly unintelligible. She could not even provide the dispatcher with the address of the incident.

The only clear information from the call came when a voice identified as Allen’s was heard. He gave the address and said he was defending himself.

Allen then made a call to 911 himself. He gave the address again and said to the dispatcher, “I was just supposed to defend myself against someone in the alley.”

After an out-of-court discussion between Lincoln County District Judge Richard Birch and the prosecution and defense teams, it was decided that Erickson would provide evidence of Beall’s Erickson interview on the May 26, 2020, rather than Beall herself testifying, as Beall may not be present at the trial. No reason was given for its unavailability.

Beall told Erickson that she and Allen had had an intimate relationship in the past, but it ended before she began an intermittent relationship with Torres. Beall admitted that her relationship with Torres was unhealthy and that Torres was not happy with her.

Nine seashells

Erickson, with the help of the evidence submitted by Roberts-Connick, established that nine shell casings were found at the scene, with seven shell casings found in the rear of the Focus. Another case was under the car and another on the front windshield of the car.

The fourth day of the trial Friday is expected to end around noon. Overall, the trial is expected to last until next week.

© 2021 Le Bulletin de la Platte Nord. All rights reserved.

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