JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The jury heard from two special agents with NCIS and a forensic pathologist to start the second week of testimony in the trial of John Nettleton, a former commander at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.
Nettleton is accused of obstructing justice and concealing facts into the death of 42-year-old Christopher Tur, a Marine Corps veteran who worked as a civilian on base.
Things were moving a bit ahead of schedule and the prosecution ended up resting its case Monday after calling a long list of witnesses.
One interesting development Monday: The defense plans to bring an undisclosed witness to the stand Tuesday morning, a woman Nettleton’s defense lawyers are now saying was the last person to see Tur alive.
The jury first heard from Dr. Christopher Gordon, a forensic pathologist with the military, who conducted an autopsy on Tur in Guantanamo Bay after his body was found floating in the water.
Dr. Gordon described the injuries he found during Tur’s autopsy including a bruise on his forehead, a small cut under his eyebrow, a bruise on his chest and four broken ribs. Toxicology results determined Tur’s blood-alcohol level was more than three times the legal driving limit at 0.26. Lab results also found high levels of the anti-depressant Prozac in his blood, a level that Dr. Gordon said could be fatal and could have contributed to drowning when paired with alcohol.
Dr. Gordon said he initially thought Tur’s death could have been a suicide but said there’s is no way he could certify that because there are no witnesses.
Turs’ death was classified as undetermined.
NCIS Special Agent Jason Boswell testified about the evidence found at Nettleton’s home including multiple splatters of blood that tested positive for Tur’s DNA.
NCIS Special Agent Carrie McNamara, who joined the investigation in August 2015, said she found additional bloodstains on the underside of a shelf being brought in as evidence that also tested positive for Tur’s DNA.
News4Jax spoke with an attorney not connected with the case about what will likely come next in the trial. He believes Nettleton will take the stand in his own defense.
“First of all, you have a man with an impeccable military record who probably will make an excellent witness on the stand is,” attorney Rod Sullivan said. “I would be surprised if he did not testify.”
Right before wrapping up on Monday, the judge asked Nettleton’s attorneys if he plans on testifying. The attorneys said that is going to be a discussion they have Monday night, but at this point, it is still a possibility.