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Criminalists testify in day five of Duenas murder trial

By Shay Arthur
Published On: Jul 23 2013 08:31:04 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 23 2013 08:36:37 PM CDT
REDDING, Calif. -

A criminalist from the Department of Justice in Redding took the stand for more than an hour on Tuesday during the trial of Mark Duenas, the Redding man accused of killing his wife of 33 years, Karen Duenas.

In part of her testimony, Rebecca Gaxiola said she found what appeared to be blood on Mark's shirt, shorts and a pair of boxers.

Shasta County Sheriff's investigators began their investigation into Karen Duenas' death on May 5, 2012.

Mark was arrested on Oct. 5, 2012 for her murder, and investigators say they believe Mark stabbed his wife to death.

Gaxiola said no foreign DNA, aside from DNA belonging to the Duenas family was found when the room was swabbed.

However in cross examination, Ron Powell, Mark's attorney noted some foreign DNA had been found in a crevice on a lamp.

Thomas Vasquez, another DOJ criminalist testified as well.

Vasquez did analysis on the window screen of Karen's room and determined it had been cut three times but he could not say with what.

Earlier in the trial, Blake Adkins, a Duenas family friend, testified he had damaged the screen with a wiffle bat but Vasquez said looking at the screen's fibers he knew it had been cut.

In cross examination, Powell pointed out that Vasquez was unable to determine when exactly the damage had occurred.

Finally in the latter part of the day, several people who claimed they heard a woman scream the night of May 4 - the day before Karen was discovered dead - testified.

The witnesses were four teenagers who were hanging out a street away and a woman who was across the street.

In a cross examination, it was difficult for any of the witnesses to give a definite time stamp as to when they heard those screams.

The prosecution said they believe they will rest their case on Wednesday morning.