Forensic pathologist, evidence technician testify in Verrill double murder trial

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Murder suspect Timothy Verrill is escorted from court on Monday; inset, a pail with a trucker's hat with blood stains on it found in the laundry utility room at 373 Meaderboro Road, Farmington. (Court TV)

ROCHESTER - A New Hampshire State Police evidence technician who collected blood samples from the scene of a double killing in Farmington in January of 2017 took the stand on Monday, the fifth day of testimony in the Timothy Verrill murder trial taking place in Courtroom 2 at Strafford Superior Court in Dover.
Verrill, 41, formerly of Dover, is charged in the Jan. 27, 2017, killing of Christine Sullivan, 48, of Farmington; and Jenna Pellegrini, 32, of Barrington. Both were found dead of multiple stab wounds.
Tara Ellsmore, now a detective with the State Police at the Epping Barracks, told the court she worked the crime scene at 373 Meaderboro Road, Farmington, from Jan. 29-Feb. 3, 2017.
Under questioning from the prosecution, Ellsmore testified that oral DNA swabs were collected from several persons associated with the Dean Smoronk drug trafficking enterprise run out of his Meaderboro Road residence including Smoronk, and Steven Clough, who died last summer in a motorcycle accident in Arizona.
Ellsmore, as part of her duties during the investigation into the women's death, also attended the autopsies of both women.
Much of her testimony centered on where blood splatter was found, such as on and around the home's refrigerator and on the green spray-paint cans that were found on the premises. The state contends that Verrill sprayed the back and front windows of the detached garage next to Smoronk's residence to conceal evidence of the crime.
One of the cans was found within the tarp that the bodies were wrapped in; another was found in the home's laundry/utility room.
During her time investigating the homicides Ellsmore also lifted the top of a hot tub located on the outside upper deck porch of the home to see if there was blood evidence, but finding none, went on to other tasks. Ellsmore noted that the top was layered with heavy snow and proved difficult for her to lift, but defense lawyer Matthew McNicoll questioned why she didn't take more time to investigated what might have turned out to be potential evidence.
Ellsmore pointed out that she was tasked primarily with locating potential blood evidence.
"You took no pictures of inside the hot tub." stated McNicoll.
"But there were other pictures you took that had no blood."
""Correct," Ellsmore said.
During cross-examination she also stated that fingernail clippings were taken from both victims, a question that is central to the defense strategy. In opening statements the defense pointed out that Verrill's DNA was not found in those clippings.
Taking the stand earlier in the day was Dr. Thomas Andrews of the New Hampshire Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, who in gruesome and painful detail described the multiple wounds the women suffered in their final moments. He also testified that the women were awake and cognizant as their attacker beat and knifed them to death.
Under cross-examination by the defense Andrews testified, however, that he could not conclude if there were more than one assailant or what body type the assailant or assailants may have had.
Verrill has been incarcerated since February 2017 when he was arrested in Massachusetts. His first trial in 2019 ended in a mistrial after it was learned the New Hampshire State Police Major Crimes Unit had failed to turn over massive amounts of evidence, some of which was exculpatory, meaning it may have benefited the defense.
The trial is expected to run into April.
Verrill faces life in prison if convicted.

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