The trial of Stephen Morgan, 32, who is charged with murdering Johanna Justin-Jinich ’10 at Red & Black Café on May 7, 2009, continued on Friday in Superior Court. Wearing a beige jumpsuit, a shackled Morgan sat silently, occasionally rocking back and forth as a three-judge panel presiding over the case heard testimony.
First to take the witness stand was Anthony Edwards ’11, who was at Red & Black Café during the time of the shooting. Edwards testified that he went down to the basement of Broad Street Books after he heard shots fired. He said that Morgan later joined him downstairs and said to him, “this is crazy.” Edwards said he had thought Morgan was a student and that Morgan did not appear to be acting out of the ordinary. After being questioned by police, he and Morgan left the store together before parting ways, Edwards testified.
During Edwards’ cross-examination, the defense, who says Morgan was mentally ill during the time of the shooting, was particularly interested in emphasizing Edwards’ testimony that Morgan appeared calm and collected immediately after the shooting.
Forensic scientist Christine Roy also testified on Friday, stating that Morgan’s DNA was found on the handle of the gun used in the shooting, as well as on a wig, baseball cap, eye glasses, and a black shirt that was left at the scene.
The judges also heard testimony from Gerard Petillo, a firearms and ballistics analyst. According to Petillo, the four bullets found at the scene were fired from the handgun that had Morgan’s DNA on it. The semiautomatic handgun contained a mix of hollow point bullets and metal jackets.
Sonia Rodriguez, who was the clerk of Cumberland Farms in Meriden where Morgan turned himself in the day after the shooting, described on the witness stand helping Morgan dial the police. According to Rodriguez, Morgan went into the store and stopped by the newspaper stand, where there were newspapers with coverage of the shooting. Morgan then asked Rodriguez for a phone to call the police with. Rodriguez testified that Morgan seemed nervous about dialing the police and went to the back of the store to speak on the phone.
An angry email from Justin-Jinich to Morgan was also read in court on Friday, according to the Hartford Courant. In the email, which was sent less than five months before the shooting, Justin-Jinich told Morgan to stop harassing and stalking her.
Morgan is also being charged with intimidation due to bias, and carrying a pistol without a permit. The trial enters its fourth day today.