Graphic photos shown in Clear Lake murder trial

October 9, 2008 9:28:30 AM PDT
A jury saw graphic photos this morning from the quadruple murders that shook the Clear Lake community back in 2003. It was five years ago when the bodies of Adelbert Sanchez, Marcus Precella, Rachel Koloroutis and Tiffany Rowell were found in a Clear Lake home. Three years later, a tip into crime stoppers led police to Christine Paolilla and Christopher Snider.

Paolilla, who was 17 years old when the four teens were killed, is on trial for the murders.

Judge Mark Kent Ellis cautioned courtroom visitors to remain calm and quiet before testimony got underway this morning from an official from the medical examiner's office. Ellis warned visitors "do not react to the photographs in front of the jury."

A doctor from the medical examiner's office told jurors that Koloroutis had injuries, including a skull fracture, to her head from a blunt force object, and 10 gunshot wounds to her pelvis, foot and leg from 10 bullets. Then prosecutors displayed on a large courtroom screen the graphic autopsy photographs of Koloroutis, starting at her face and then the shaved backside of her battered head.

The doctor testified that, "If you look carefully, you can see part of the brain."

Koloroutis' loved ones sitting in the front row of the courtroom caressed each other's backs and sighed. The next photograph was of Rachel's bruised hands, which the doctor said indicated she resisted an attack, and her buttocks, which had bullet holes,

Snider is not on trial for the murders because he is dead. He committed suicide in 2006 after he was charged with the murders. The prosecution says Paolilla acted on her own will and beat one of the victims with a gun after she ran out of bullets. That victim was her best friend.

If convicted, the now 22-year-old Paolilla faces life in prison

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