Basu car yielded prints Slaying jury also is told about bloody trail

April 17, 1993|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Staff Writer

A Howard County detective told the Basu-case jury yesterday that he found fingerprints and what appeared to be bloodstains on the --board, floor mats and console of Dr. Pam Basu's BMW.

In the fifth day of testimony in the Circuit Court trial of one of two Washington men charged in the carjacking slaying, the police technician described how he methodically collected fingerprints and blood samples from the four-door sedan.

The detective, Douglas Read, who works in the Police Department's criminal laboratory, said he also walked the two-mile stretch of roadway over which Dr. Basu was dragged to her death, finding tattered clothing and traces of blood, flesh and hair ground into the road.

Much of what Detective Read found -- including the fingerprints and blood samples -- was sent to other specialists for testing. Results of those tests are expected to be introduced as evidence next week.

Detective Read was the only prosecution witness yesterday in the trial of 17-year-old Bernard Eric Miller, who is charged along with Rodney Eugene Soloman, 27, in the Sept. 8 slaying of Dr. Basu, a 34-year-old research chemist.

The Soloman case has been moved to Baltimore County for trial starting Aug. 2.

Dr. Basu was forced from her 1990 BMW near her home in Savage. Her left arm became entangled in a seat belt during a struggle.

Her 22-month-old daughter, who was in the car at the time, was tossed onto the road while sitting in a child-safety seat shortly after the carjacking, according to testimony.

A witness who saw Dr. Basu being dragged testified that her body at one point was wedged behind the driver's side rear tire.

When found on Gorman Road, Dr. Basu's body was lying facing down and partially wrapped in barbed-wire. The prosecution contends that the defendants drove the BMW into a barbed-wire fence to dislodge the body.

Police stopped the stolen car in Highland several hours after the carjacking and arrested Mr. Miller and Mr. Soloman.

Detective Read said he found 11 fingerprints after going over the child-safety seat for two hours. He noted that few of the fingerprints were legible because prints do not adhere to the seat's rough texture.

Detective Read said he had better luck with the BMW, where he found fingerprints on the windows, doors and hood. He also found fingerprints on several of Dr. Basu's credit cards that were found in the car.

While examining the car, Detective Read said, he found what appeared to be bloodstains inside and outside the vehicle. Flesh and hair were found on the driver's side seat belt and hair was found wrapped around the left side of the car's rear axle. In addition, police found bloody, tattered clothing on Gorman Road.

In other matters, Judge Dennis Sweeney granted a request by the media to photograph some items of evidence introduced during the trial. However, the judge is withholding pictures of Dr. Basu's daughter as well as photographs of the woman's body.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys for Mr. Soloman asked the judge to deny the request, arguing that the publicity would make it difficult for them to provide a fair trial for the second defendant.

Lawyers for several newspapers and television stations, including The Sun, argued that releasing the evidence would have little effect on a case that has already received extensive publicity. The evidence that was made available to the media includes diagrams and pictures of the crime scene. In addition, reporters were told that photographs would be permitted of items belonging to Dr. Basu found along the road and in the car. Those items include the doctor's briefcase, purse, driver's license and credit cards.

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