Schuylkill County jury sees purported murder weapon during 2nd day of Pottsville man's trial

  • In US
  • 2022-12-07 11:41:00Z
  • By Republican & Herald, Pottsville, Pa.

Dec. 7-POTTSVILLE - A state police trooper wearing surgical gloves opened a sealed evidence box Tuesday in Schuylkill County Court and took out a blood-covered knife that authorities say was used to kill an Orwigsburg man last year during a road rage incident.

The testimony by state police Trooper Kenneth Dahler, of the Forensic Services Unit, concluded the second day of the murder trial of Tamiir Ion Whitted, 31, of Pottsville, before President Judge Jacqueline L. Russell.

Whitted is charged with stabbing to death George Marcincin, 38, in the southbound lanes of Route 61 at the intersection of Brick Hill Road in West Brunswick Twp. on April 12, 2021.

In his testimony under questioning by First Assistant District Attorney Michael J. Stine, Dahler told the jury how he processed Whitted's 2020 Honda Accord and found three knives in the car, as well as suspected blood in various locations.

He said blood was also found on the clothing Whitted was wearing, on his hands and under his fingernails.

After showing photos of where the alleged murder weapon was found inside the car, as well as close-up images of the knife itself, Dahler took the knife out of the box and walked in front of the jurors, showing it to them.

The trooper said the knife was found in a compartment on the driver's side door of the car with another knife. A third knife was found in the car's center console.

No evidence was discovered on the other two knives, Dahler said.

DNA analysis on Whitted's clothing, inside the vehicle, on his person and on the knife linked the items to Marcincin.

Michael Mattera, another witness for the prosecution, told the court he watched the stabbing and said that he "was in total disbelief" of what he saw that day.

Mattera said he was one of the first people at the scene and that he was about 5 or 6 feet away as he saw the altercation between a Black man and a white man unfold.

"I saw the Black man stabbing the other guy," he said, never positively identifying either Whitted or Marcincin.

Mattera testified that after the stabbing, the assailant began walking away and said to him: "Did you see that? He tried to kill me."

"I said that's not what I saw," the man recalled telling the assailant before the assailant got in his car and fled.

Under questioning from Whitted's attorney, David S. Nenner, of Philadelphia, Mattera also testified that both men appeared to be fighting and that the white man at one point had his hands in the air and was backing up.

Whitted is charged with one count of first-degree murder; one felony count of third-degree murder; and two felony counts of aggravated assault.

He is also charged with one misdemeanor count each of simple assault, fleeing or attempting to elude police, resisting arrest, possessing instruments of crime and reckless endangerment.

Also testifying Tuesday was forensic pathologist Dr. Wayne Ross, of Dauphin County, who performed the autopsy on Marcincin and found the man suffered a total of 19 stab wounds.

Ross said he determined the cause of death was multiple stab wounds and that the manner of death was homicide. He said the knife used in the stabbing had a blade length of 6 1/2 inches.

The knife description was consistent with the knife shown to the jury by Dahler.

Ross said the stab wounds suffered by Marcincin included two to the man's head and face; two to the neck; three to the upper left shoulder; five to the chest and abdomen; five to the left arm and hand; and two to the back.

The stab wound to the head also caused a skull fracture, with the knife tip penetrating the brain, Ross said.

A "severe amount of force" would be needed for that to happen, he testified.

The pathologist said that the wounds to Marcincin's neck severed his carotid artery and cut his trachea.

Ross said that six of the 19 stab wounds would have been fatal in and of themselves.

In addition, the victim also suffered a lacerated kidney, liver and lung.

Ross testified that the wounds inflicted to Marcincin "focused on vital parts of the body" and called them "calculated and precise."

The pathologist also told the court that the stab wounds on Marcincin's left arm are indicative of defensive wounds.

"He was trying to protect himself," he said.

Under cross-examination by Nenner, Ross said that he could not determine in the autopsy if Marcincin was grabbing or holding onto something or someone at the time he suffered the stab wounds.

Also testifying Tuesday were two members of the Orwigsburg Police Department: Patrolman Robert Bechtel and Police Chief Vincent McDonald, who was a Schuylkill Haven police patrolman at the time of the homicide.

Bechtel said that after the stabbing, he saw Whitted driving in Orwigsburg, pursued the vehicle and caught up with him on Route 61, south of the crime scene, where both officers took the man into custody, with state police assistance.

Bechtel told the court that at one point, Whitted pulled over and when ordered to get out of the car, said: "Go ahead and shoot me. I'm not getting out of the car."

Testimony is scheduled to resume at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, when the defense is expected to present its case.


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