Testimony In Netherland Trial Continues

By: Lindsay Shively, Brian Dorman Email
By: Lindsay Shively, Brian Dorman Email

Several officers who took part in the investigation nineteen years ago took the stand Friday in the murder of Karen Estes. Jurors sift through disturbing autopsy photos and some of Estes' personal effects while several witnesses recount what happened on October 20, 1989.

The coroner that originally performed the autopsy on Estes has since died, so the prosecution brought in Dr. Eric Mitchell to pour over the reports and analyze each wound Friday morning. Several family members chose to wait outside as graphic autopsy photos showed details of the injuries, including some to Estes' face.

Theodore Netherland, the murder suspect, sits in a green Shawnee County Jail jumpsuit, facing forward and not moving for hours.

The prosecution brings up a former detective for the Topeka Police Department. He had helped run a sketch machine used with the aid of a woman who witnessed the crime to create a composite sketch.

Officers then took that sketch when canvassing the neighborhood surrounding the Hillcrest Community Center where Karen Estes was murdered.

Another former officer involved in the case, Brent Schulte, took the stand. Schulte was assigned an area of that neighborhood where Theodore Netherland lived in 1989. Schulte testified that while knocking on doors up and down SE Indiana, he knocked on Netherland's door at 2006 SE Indiana and Netherland was not home.

The trial continues with testimony this afternoon.


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