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Prosecution rests in Bosley case after alleged co-conspirator refuses to testify

As the prosecution wrapped up its case Monday against Robert Theodore Bosley, who is charged with first-degree murder, his alleged co-conspirator in the death of Kandi Gerber was found guilty of criminal contempt after he refused to testify in Bosley's trial.

It was the fourth day of testimony in the case against Bosley, who in addition to murder, is charged with first-degree assault, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree assault.

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Bret Michael Wheeler is also charged with first-degree murder, first-degree assault, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree assault, as well as accessory to first-degree murder, according to electronic court records.

Wheeler was the state's last witness in its case against Bosley. Presiding Judge Barry Hughes signed an order to compel Wheeler to testify on April 17, but when Wheeler was called to the stand, Wheeler told the court that he would not be answering any questions from the state, the defense or Hughes.

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The jury was not called in when Wheeler was on the stand. After Wheeler was found to be in criminal contempt, the state rested its case.

One of Bosley's attorneys, Joseph Murtha, motioned for an acquittal on all counts, which Hughes denied, saying there was enough evidence presented in the state's case for the jury to decide whether to convict or acquit Bosley.

Earlier in the day, jurors watched a video of Bosley being interviewed by Detective Sgt. Brandon Holland at the Carroll County Sheriff's Office after being arrested on Aug. 8, the day of Gerber's death.

Bosley went to his residence at 2000 Dennings Road in New Windsor on Aug. 8 to confront a woman he believed called authorities to report him of being in violation of his work release, Bosley told police in the video.

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Bosley had Wheeler drive him to the home, where Bosley went into the basement to confront Gerber, he said in the video. At some point during that confrontation, Gerber died. But, in the video, Bosley tells Holland that he did not kill Gerber.

"I wasn't coming there to harm her. I wanted to find out the truth, and see it for myself," Bosley told Holland on the video.

Bosley repeatedly told Holland, in the video, that he did not kill Gerber and that she killed herself. He also repeatedly said that she told him that no one would believe him before ultimately killing herself.

"I'm telling you right now, I shoved her away and she blatantly said, 'Who's going to believe you anyway?' " Bosley said on the video.

Bolsey told Holland that when he confronted Gerber she flew into a blackout rage. There was a scuffle and Gerber somehow got a blade. She came at him, and he shoved her back. After saying no one would believe him, she used the blade to cut her throat, Bosley said on the video.

"What am I supposed to do? Call the cops while I'm covered in her f---ing blood?" Bosley said on the video.

He wanted to help her, he said in the video.

"As soon as I started to plead, she did it. And there was blood everywhere," he told Holland.

Bosley's attorney Ned Curry, who with Murtha represents Bosley, emphasized the repetitive nature of Bosley's statements while questioning Holland.

Bret Michael Wheeler, alleged co-conspirator in the August death of Kandi Gerber, was found guilty of criminal contempt after he refused to testify Monday

Bosley maintained that Gerber was in a blackout rage, that she waved the blade at him, that he didn't go there to kill her, that he freaked out and that he went into survival mode, Holland testified when Curry asked.

Bosley didn't change his statements despite Holland's questions, Curry said during questioning.

But Bosley's story conflicts with the statements made by Dennings Road residents Lindsay Ulsch and Jeffrey Turco, who testified last week that Bosley was there to evict Gerber not question her about why she allegedly called to report him.

While Bosley told Holland that Gerber's death was a suicide, the assistant medical examiner who performed an autopsy on Gerber's body testified that Gerber's death was not a suicide.

"These are not wounds in their entirety that can be self-inflicted," said Dr. Melissa Brassell, of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Brassell performed the autopsy on Gerber's body on Aug. 9. During the autopsy, Brassell noted 12 sharp force injuries, or cuts, to the right and left frontal portions of Gerber's neck. Gerber's death was officially ruled a homicide with the cause of death multiple injuries, including sharp force, asphyxia and blunt force injuries, according to Brassell's testimony.

Jurors saw pictures of the sharp force injuries to Gerber's neck, as well as pictures of the inside of her scalp that showed hemorrhaging, which would have been the result of blunt force trauma, Brassell said.

The pictures showed a large gash in about the middle of Gerber's neck and cuts around the area where the neck and jaw meet. There was also a deep cut on the left side of the neck, which was consistent with findings of damage to the jugular veins, Brassell said.

The damage to the veins caused an air embolism, which would have blocked blood flow to Gerber's heart and caused sudden cardiac death, Brassell said.

When looking for suicide injury patterns, medical examiners often see hesitation marks. They did not appear on Gerber's body, Brassell said.

Murtha questioned if some of the 12 cuts to Gerber's neck were hesitation marks, adding through his questioning that some were shallower than others. Brassell told him that usually with suicide cuts are localized to one area, which they were not in Gerber's case.

Murtha asked if Brassell knew directionality of the cuts, which she said she did not, and then asked if the cuts could have been spread out if someone feigned suicide and there was a struggle, to which she replied, "sure."

The injuries to Gerber were consistent with someone being beaten, strangled and then killed by someone taking a razor to their throat, Brassell said.

Gerber had bruises, scrapes and shallow cuts on her chest, arms and legs, in addition to the bleeding marks on her scalp. She also had signs of petechial bruising in her eyes consistent to that of someone who was strangled, Brassell said.

Petechia happens when the jugular veins, but not the carotid arteries, are compressed so that blood can go into the brain but not out, causing blood vessels to pop, Brassell said.

Because blood had to be flowing in Gerber's body for the bruising on her body or in her eyes to happen, it had to have happened prior to the deep cut to her left jugular vein, Brassell said.

Jurors also heard from Teri Zerbe, a forensic scientist with the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division, who testified that male DNA from two people was found on clippings of Gerber's nails that had been taken to the lab to be tested.

Gerber's DNA was found on Wheeler's boxers and Bosley's cargo shorts, both of which were collected after their arrests, as well as on swabs taken from several places in the basement, Zerbe said.

In addition to Zerbe, Detective Richard Harbaugh, the lead investigator on the case with the Sheriff's Office, was called back to testify. During his testimony, jurors heard a call between Bosley and his wife on Aug. 7 discussing Gerber's alleged call about Bosley's work release.

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The trial will resume at 9 a.m. Tuesday with the defense's first witness.

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heather.mongilio@carrollcountytimes.com

410-857-7898

twitter.com/hmongilio



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