December 22, 2014

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Forensic scientists testify in capital murder trial

Clothing worn by Clarence Adams III is shown Friday as evidence in his murder trial. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

Clothing worn by Clarence Adams III is shown Friday as evidence in his murder trial. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

ELYRIA — Lamar “Mark” Taylor’s blood was on the shoes and clothing of the two men accused of beating him to death in 2012, an Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation forensic scientist testified Friday.

David Niemeyer also said that Taylor’s blood was on a rug found in the car suspects Clarence Adams III and Austin Diaz were riding in the night Taylor was killed during the attack on East 34th Street in Lorain.

Friday was the second day of testimony in Adams’ capital murder trial.

Clarence Adams III appears in court on Friday.

Clarence Adams III appears in court on Friday.

A witness to the attack, Jose “Macho” Torres, testified earlier in the trial that Adams and Diaz got out of the 2001 Honda Civic and began following Taylor before attacking him. He said he watched both men hitting, kicking and stomping Taylor and even saw Adams deliver a “field goal”-like kick to Taylor’s face.

Torres said he called out for the men to stop, but they threatened him to stay out of it, so he ran to his cousin’s house two blocks away and told her to call police.

Prosecutors have said Taylor had tried to get away from his attackers and left a blood trail along the sidewalk as Adams and Diaz continued to assault him in what prosecutors have described as an unprovoked attack and robbery.

Martin Lewis, another forensic scientist, testified Friday that the soles of the shoes Adams and Diaz were wearing were similar to bloody footprints found at the scene, but he couldn’t say for certain the footprints were made by either man’s shoes.

Also taking the stand Friday was Lorain County Chief Deputy Coroner Frank Miller, who testified that Taylor, who had been walking home when he was attacked, bled to death from injuries to his head and neck.

As Miller explained his findings using photos from the autopsy, Adams wiped his eyes, sniffled and hung his head.

Miller said that there were significant injuries to Taylor’s head and neck, including a gash above his right eye, a broken nose and injuries to his brain. But he also said that there was no brain swelling because Taylor died quickly from his injuries.

There also was evidence, Miller said, that Taylor had been strangled before he died.

During opening arguments Thursday, defense attorney Kreig Brusnahan said Adams wasn’t the principal offender in the April 8, 2012, attack on Taylor. Diaz has pleaded not guilty to the capital murder charges he faces and is scheduled to face trial later this year.

Adams’ trial will resume Monday before the three-judge panel hearing the case.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.